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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

345 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 345
Hads: 557
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 18.84%
Wants: 8
Gots: 46 | 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.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 345 | Hads: 557
Photo of teromous
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bottle is labeled with F 17 246

Appearance: The body is very transparent but dark brown. I can see fairly well through it so it's not completely opaque. The head is darker than off-white...more of a very light tan. Very good retention and lacing. The head is creamy.

Aroma: There is a very sweet caramel and strong buttery aroma with a toasted note mingling in there.

Taste: Fairly strong carbon flavor from the roasted grains with a touch of caramel and a bit of butter and alcohol coming through.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Very very slick and smooth. There is a light bite of roasted bitterness at the end.

Overall: It doesn't look, smell, or taste much like a stout aside from that carbon roasted bitterness. It's interesting but it's not a beer I would repeat. If you are a fan of the diacetyl laden English ales you will be at home with this beer. Otherwise I would say to stay away from it. It is a drinkable and enjoyable beer but that buttery aroma and flavor reduce drinkability a bit.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a moderate foamy 1" head and decent lacing. Has a very distinct fruity and chocolatey taste. Not bad, but not one of my favorites.

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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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a creamy off-white head that dissipate moderately but leaves a significant film of foam on the beer and around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear dark brown color that isn't as dark as a lump of coal.

The beer smell is pretty good. The beer has roasted notes and dark fruit notes with a bit of hops to it. The beer has a nice roasted malt note that is balanced out by a caramel and slightly sweet note. However, the smell doesn't seem to be as rich and deep as it could be.

The beer taste has the same roasted notes and caramel notes like the smell but with different degrees. The roasted malts are a bit stronger and the caramel is a bit weaker. The overall taste is more on the too watery coffee side with a caramel note that needs to be stronger. However, it is still pretty good and the notes do balance each other out.

The mouthfeel is a bit heavy but also light at the same time. The beer is medium bodied with biting carbonation but feels a bit lighter than it should be. However, it is still pretty good.

Overall, the beer is a decent export stout and very good novelty gift for the Beer Geek in your life. Even if it isn't a gift, the beer is still overall pretty decent and drinkable. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this every holiday.

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

Ridgeway Lump of Coal has a thick, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (ruby red brown, under light) appearance, and substantial lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet cream, bread crust, and malt. Taste is of sweetness, cream, dark roasted, and almost burnt, malt, char, and acidic bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and Ridgeway Lump of Coal finishes semi-dry and boozy in the head. You will feel this one.


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Photo of artdob
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Vanilla colored foam and light lace on a sea of black liquid. Nose is very light with sweet fruity notes. On the palate, pumpernickel, molasses.
A roasty bitterness follows. Light carbonation - a bit more than I want in a stout, but not over the top. 8% abv for this brew. A decent option for a cold winter night.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.99/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of Lump Of Coal in a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a translucent black walnut color, garnet red when held up to the light. There is a foamy off-white head, leaving thin sheets of lace on the glass.

Smell is a faint and sweet aroma, toffee and charcoal.

Taste is also sweet up front, a chocolate and coffee flavor, with a rum candy flavor.

Moutfeel is perhaps thin for the style, but smooth, with a wet bitter sweet aftertaste.

Overall better than I thought ti would be. I had it figured for a holiday seasonal gimmick, but it's a pretty decent stout. I would have it again.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stout glass, this is a dark brown beer, with a thin off-white head that soon fades away, and nice lacing that also does the same. Body looks ok.
Smells lightly of roasted coffee and some cocoa.
Not as bad as I thought it might be. Roasted malts and a powdery cocoa sensation, simply so and generally a tasty brew. Not too dry or too sweet.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, creamy and medium-low carbonated.
Something to try once, certainly if it's a gift.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.16/5  rDev +20.6%
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!

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Photo of Mikus
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife summed this one up perfectly... 'it's a stout'. I'd be hard pressed to pay $6.99 for this again, but with that being said, there is nothing bad about this brew, just nothing great.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.04/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 55 degrees into snifter
Aroma of roasted malt
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and 2 mm layer
Lacing excellent – curtain of tiny to small bubbles covering glass
Body dark brown, clear
Flavor begins with slightly sweet roasted malt with an ephemeral hint of cherry, ends with a roasted malty sweetness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter, this stout features a light tan head of dissipating foam that dies down to thin layer and nice lacing. Nose of chocolate milk, dark roasted malts and grains, and a bit of vanilla and dark cherries. Flavors are sweet malts to the front and sides with cocoa, raisins, light smoke, and chocolate milk flavors to the back. A sweet stout that almost could pass as a milk stout. Very smooth and boozy brew. A coating lightly bitter aftertaste from the malts....a nice take on an export stout.


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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a big grayish-tan colored head. The big bubbly head has a great level of retention, slowly fading to leave a lots of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is much lighter in the roasted department then would be anticipated. It is heaviest of a caramel and malty smell with a bit of coffee and roast. Other aromas of toffee and molasses as well as a bit of vanilla and cocoa are there as well, along with a very light earthy hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a blend of a roasted malt and caramel sweetened nature. There is a bit of cocoa flavor that is present upfront with this flavor later being joined by flavors of coffee as the taste advances to the end. All while the coffee increases, some flavors of an earthy hop nature come to the tongue as well, and with the coffee, end up bittering the taste quite a bit more. Some sweeter brown sugar and a bit of cream join the tastes more toward the end, and with a little bit of grainy taste, leave a sorta weakly roasted/dark stout flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the style, it is a good feel overall, although for the lack of roast, a little more carbonation may have been slightly better.

Overall – Ah… A decent brew, but really not that special and not what I would consider a dark roastad ”as black as the lump of coal you’ll be getting for Christmas” as proclaimed by the label.

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Photo of vinicole
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%

Dark brown (rather than black as expected) with quickly disappearing head.
Lovely aroma of coffee, roast malt, chocolate,prunes and Christmas cake (or is that auto suggestion?).
Taste does not match the bouquet. Sweet followed by stewed veg' hop. Not much malt. Thin.
Nice carbonation. Boozy.
Disappointing brew as I have saved this for two years before drinking. Not a true stout.

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Photo of RockinghamBrewingAssn
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Unimpressive.... Wish I would have read about it before buying. It is not bad, just not at all a stout, and not worth the price (I paid $6.49 at a specialty beer store). It tastes like an average home brew from a kit.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/5/2012. Pours clear nearly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, raisin, plum, fig, licorice, light smoke/char, and roast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, raisin, plum, fig, licorice, light smoke/char, and roast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, raisin, plum, fig, licorice, light smoke/char, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and moderate fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly creamy/chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Foreign stout style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Josh012012
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This has been in the cellar since I impulse bought last x mas.. blind tasting

Stout my ass.. Tastes like Old Ale, Baltic Porter, Quad, and Stout all mixed together. Way malty... yes is complex in the fact that there are a lot of different flavors...but not in a good way. IMO.

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Photo of barczar
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

At least 3 years old, so...

Pours a brilliant deep brown with garnet highlights and a modest khaki head that dissipates to remnants of foam.

Aroma is boozy and fruity, reminiscent of rum. There's a sweet treacle note, along with artificial cherry. A nutty malt backbone is good contrast.

Flavor reveals oxidized notes of sherry, which counter the moderately roasty and deeply toasted caramelized malt well. There's a bit of cherry cough syrup that is offputting. Rum soaked raisins emerge as it warms, which is redeeming.

Body is moderate, with carbonation on the low side.

I like the malt profile. The sherry character is likely attributable to age, but it neither adds nor detracts, really. I'm not digging the fake cherry, though. Misses a lot of body and malt for a stout.

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Photo of beertunes
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Found this in one of my boxes 'o beer I've got stashed at my friend Justin's (BA OKComputer) house. Don't remember buying it, may have had it up to 4 years. Bottle code: F14-206. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, translucent reddish-mahogany color with just a thin cap of tan head that quickly dissipated. While this is a very attractive beer, it doesn't look like a Stout, but more like Strong Ale or Barleywine. Think North Coast Old Stock ale.

A bit of sweetness is at the front of the scent, with some malt and grain showing through. After that, hints of tobacco and leather were apparent. On the tongue the beer was the same, a bit malty sweet, and some earth and leather notes. The finish had a tangy tobacco aspect.

The body was thin, if you consider this a Stout, but right on for a Strong/Old ale. Smooth all across the tongue, with a semi dry finish. Overall, a very good brew, one that I will certainly grab again if I see it, and I think it's worth your time as well.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a dark, chocolate brown with a nice fluffy head of light tan, sandy bubbles and a great retention. The head leaves a medium-thick, sheet-like lacing. In body, the beer is clear of particles and clean, but with a dark coloring that makes the beer nearly opaque. 3/3
On the nose, the beer smells of stale, dark breads, touches of milk chocolate, instant coffee, and bakers chocolate. Low amounts of diacetyl seem to be present as well with a light, buttered popcorn character. Touches of spicy licorice occasionally brush against the nostrils, but they are light. On the tongue, the beer tastes bready sweet, with a mild bitter roast, touches of coffee-like acidity, and the briefest of alcoholic pops just at the close. Hop bitterness builds as you sip the beer, and eventually hits slightly unbalanced levels. The finish is drier with a mild bitter roast. In flavor, the beer begins as softly chary coffee, moving into roast grains and toasted bread. The middle and finish carry lots of herbal and medicinal bitters that hurt other flavors in the beer. Touches of licorice, bakers chocolate, and caramel touch across the tongue, but are kept light due to the mildly aggressive bitter flavoring that mingles with slight char flavors. In the mouth, the beer feels on the heavier side of medium in body, with a middling, soft carbonation, and a slightly watery, smooth, and almost-creamy mouthfeel. The bitters give the mouth a slightly sharp feeling, which is off with the rest of the beer. Overall, this is an average Export Stout that suffers from a bad blending of its bitters with the other rich flavors of the beer. It is not overly bitter by any means, but just feels a touch too bitter for the style. For a “Dark Holiday Stout,” I was also expecting more rich malt character, but it was fairly mellow with it malt character. This beer is not horrible, but is rather forgettable in the grand scheme of things. I liked it more as I drank more of it. It hides its 8% nicely. I would advise serving this at room temperature.

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Photo of Kuaff
3.89/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Lump of Coal in a snifter at cellar temperature.

This has a one to two-finger, VERY creamy-looking beige head, and while it's close to black, it's definitely not opaque black like coal. There's some transparency.

It smells very good, with a pretty strong aroma of raisins, vanilla, and roasty chocolate.

There's a lot of dark fruitiness in the flavor. It has a pretty light roasted malt finish for an 8% ABV stout. Still tasty though.

It feels a little over-carbonated. I don't think a stout should be quite so effervescent.

I just realized it: this resembles a Belgian strong dark ale more than any stout, in color, smell, carbonation, and even flavor. It's not terribly complex, but at least it appeals to my affinity for dark Belgian ales.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Lump of coal pours a black color with a small white lacing head. There is a weak toffee aroma. The taste also is weak, lots of toffee, with a very dry aftertaste. Weak watery flavors. Overall its decent, weak and watery, but in no ways horrible, a bit borring.

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Photo of davey101
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The neck reads "F12 279 02:53" which I can only assume is a date code meaning its from October 5th, 2012.

Pours a nearly black body that appears clear dark red under the light with a fingers worth of khaki foam. Looks good. Leaves behind some patches of foam and some nice lacing. Smell is awfully mundane. Sweet milk chocolate, faint vanilla, bitter roasted malts and not much else. Taste follows the nose with the addition of smoke smoke and a plasticy finish. Like a muted rauchbier with some artificial vanilla. Why is it so roasty? The saving grace here is the mouth feel which is full and creamy. Not a big fan of this one. The light smokey thing it has going on is less than welcome in my opinion.

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, a bit of coffee. Taste is coffee, some chocolate, alcohol is well hidden. smooth and easy drinking. Feels a bit creamy in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Ilafan
3.04/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Either my nose doesn't work, or this awesomely named and cleverly labeled beer has no discernible smell. It pours very dark with a centimeter high, fast-dissolving whitish head. Its coloring is very dark, as it should given its name, right? But when stuffing my schnozz into my glass, I could barely detect a faint sweet aroma of ... what? I don't know. The taste is lighter than I thought it would be, too. I still like it; the roasted bean with a hint of caramel is pleasing. But the relatively high alcohol content of 8% isn't balanced as well with flavoring like other similar stouts.

Still, I am charmed by this beer, and of various holiday offerings I have tried, this ranks in the upper echelon. Nice beer for a cold Minnesota winter's night.

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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.