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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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Reviews: 354 | Ratings: 588
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spicey stout and I like the style. Pours dark with amber highlights. Burnt aroma, lacey. Oh and some bittersweet chocolate. There is a spot of smoke in here and the spiciness, though the coffee throws me a bit off. Decent drinkable.Fine British beer and beat my expectations.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 7/27/17.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa powder, toffee, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, earth, and roasted nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of roast and cocoa qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice different holiday dark brew. pours literally coal black, no transparency with a smallish white head, frothy. smells a little dark fruity with good rich roasted malts and a heavy sturdy yeast. flavor is low key but different, there is a pronounced fruity malty lightness if thats doable. mouthfeel is nice, less carbonated than it could be, with a full body and a pungent but complimentary to its flavor and aroma finishing kick. english for sure, the malts make this one. at 8% the value is great. very drinkable. i am an elf

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Photo of metter98
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black and poured with a finger high creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacy patterns in the center. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The smell is quite sweet and has aromas of chocolate malts along with some hints of grapes.
T: Like the smell, the taste is both chocolaty and sweet and has notes of coffee and hints of grapes in the flavors. There is a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied, creamy, smooth and a bit thin on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: Any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste, which makes this beer quite easy to drink.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout poured out as a dark brown color. The beer is almost translucent despite the color. The head is thin and tan colored. Not much lacing. The smell is a bit roasted and has some earthy aromas too. The taste of the beer is light and creamy. The flavors don't really have a bitterness of coffee or dark burnt toast. It's one of the smoothest tasting stouts ive had in a while. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side and not really complex at all. Overall it's an easy going stout.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A fitting name for a beer that opens with a distinct charcoal aroma from roasted dark grains. Though these aromas dominate, there is a Schwarzbier malt, ferment, and hop character to back it up. Looks opaque black and viscous. Flavors are again dominated by black roasted malts with a follow up of toasted malts, light cocoa, and light coffee. An underlying sweetness boarders on lactose and / or oats. Accompanying this sweetness is a velvety, almost oily texture that mellows the beer and rounds off the rough alcohol edges. Well melded and easy to drink for such strong flavors.

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Photo of brentk56
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with garnet highlights; the head was tan and retained well, leaving a nice pattern of lace on the glass

Smell: Fruity licorice aroma dominates, along with a touch of coffee

Taste: Starts with an initial milk chocolate flavor that is quickly overtaken by fruity licorice elements; there is some sulphur in there too that is quite unpleasant; after the swallow, there is a bad phenolic flavor that is medicinal tasting and reeks of alcohol

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied (way too thin for a stout) with low carbonation

Drinkability: Really pretty poor, with some serious off flavors

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Photo of emerge077
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a large .5L mug. "F11 257" on label.

Right off the bat it looks very thin for a stout, reddish brown transparency more like a porter or dunkel. A thin cap of foam that doesn't stick around at all. A tiny clump of bubbles is left floating in the center. Ruby glint in the light, definitely not opaque.

Aroma is grainy, sweetish wort. A little musty, cooked veggies like a bad euro lager. Taste is the same... this is no stout. Sweet and musty, overcooked grain. Astringent and stale. Just offensive really. Is this a bad joke? Lump of coal, hur hur I get it.

I'm glad this was a gift because i'd never spend money on it. Shame on Shelton for bringing in this crap from a sub-par brewer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black hue with a tan, bubbly, soapy, one-finger head. It left a little bit of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and toffee.

T - It tasted of mild maltiness. It also had a good dose of caramel flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a pretty descent stout. I really expected more, it just didn't overwhelm me with flavor.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep burnt red color, reminds me more of a barley wine, a dark red wine, or even an imperial red; that does not quite fit a stout profile for me. Deeper roasted malts in the aroma and taste with a bit of alcohol and fermented red grapes as well. This beer isn't bad, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't seem to be a stout worthy in appearance and seems to miss it slightly as well in the taste.

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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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown head settles down quickly, leaving little lace. The body is black with amber highlights and seemingly clear.

S - Dark, fruity notes; plums, raisins, maybe cherries. Chocolate malt and caramel. Yeasty spice notes, almost a Belgian yeast profile.

T - Lots of caramel, chocolate and fruit up front. A hint of hop flavor followed by solid roast grain notes. Finishes with mild coffee and chocolate character and a good bit of alcoholic warmth.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

D - This is an unusual beer that defied my expectations, but I am quite pleased with it overall. I was expecting something with big body and subdued, English flavors; instead, I got subdued body and big, almost Belgian, flavors. As it happens, I am a fan of this combination; and while it misses the English stout style in some ways, it does so in a distinctly enjoyable fashion.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd love to be able to call the color 'anthracite' in keeping with the coal theme, but it's really much closer to mahogany with generous ruby-amber highlights at the margins. The dense, light chocolate brown head is creamysoft rather than stiff. I'm not expecting much lace, but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised (note: I wasn't). A good, not an exceptional, stout look.

While the previous sentence applies to the aroma as well, it isn't quite as good in a relative sense. Roasted malt is uppermost, but could be more roasted yet. I detect faint aromas of carob and watered-down coffee, along with some musty fruit. The nose needs an injection of stoutiness for sure.

Upon tasting... we're back on track. The flavor profile consists of well-roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee with cream. There's a little brown sugar flavor as well, with a wee bit of vanilla, but the beer isn't all that sweet. English hops play a bit part at best. Sweet, sour and bitter are all present in roughly equal proportions and tend to cancel one another out, resulting in a fairly well-balanced beer.

The body isn't big and bad, but it is full enough and creamy enough to be enjoyable (and is a great fit with the flavor profile). It's firming up nicely with warming, but is still a long way away from chewy. The 8% ABV is on the generous side for a (non-Imperial) stout, so it's a good thing that it's well-buried.

Lump of Coal is the final member of the 'holiday quadruplets' from Ridgeway Brewing, joining Santa's Butt, Bad Elf and Very Bad Elf. It isn't the best member of that group, but that probably has more to do with my affection for hoppy beer than anything else. It's a solid effort that I'd be more than happy to drink at Christmas or any other time of the year. I certainly wouldn't mind getting a Lump of Coal in my stocking this December 25th.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
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!

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Photo of superspak
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | 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 russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy/chestnut with 2 fingers of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Toffee, vanilla & sarsaparilla, all fade as this warms

T: Singed coco-cola, toffee, & some coffee up front. Leafy hops & a slight oakyness, plus more toffee & vanilla as this warms. Finishes very dry with roasted malt & toffee

MF: Medium bodied with soft carbonation

Drinks alright, but not much to get excited about here, give it a shot

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

Poured into pint glass.

About 1 finger of light tan head. Head fades down to a thin layer. Leaves splattered lace. Color is a Roasted bark brown.

Aroma: Roasted chest nuts. Some chocolate malts, toffee, but it has a hint of skunkiness to it, reminds me of other English style beers. Not to bad, just in the background.

Taste: Chocolate, nuts, and toffee. That skunkiness comes back.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied for a stout. A medium amount of carbonation. Somewhat creamy feel to it. Ends with a nutty flavor to it with some skunkyflavor to it.

Overall, not the stout for me. I just wasn't a fan of the English parts of this beer. It had some nice toffee notes but I gotta pass on this one.

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Photo of smcolw
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive three-finger head with some lasting time; great ring lace. Dark brown (as opposed to black) color--some light passes through.

Lots of yeast in the smell; very mild dark malt aroma; no hop.

First sip, I notice how thin this beer is for a stout. Strong alcoholic warmth. I'd describe it as a porter, but it doesn't have the chocolate notes. While it does have some of the black patent flavors, it isn't bitter enough

This is an easy to drink stout--perhaps a good introduction to the big boys.

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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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown - almost black (not quite, though). Not the "coal" color I was expecting. A thick off-white head tops it off, leaving a bit of lacing.

The smell doesn't exactly remind me of coal, either - maybe a vague hint of smoke. Some chocolatey, coffeeish aroma behind a cherry-like fruitiness.

The taste is of sugar plum and cherry fruity sweetness and hints of coffee and chocolate. There is a slight hint of peat-like smokiness, but, again, coal doesn't come to mind. Not as smoky as typical of an English stout (D. Goodbody for example). Alcohol pretty well-covered through most of it, but after mid-bottle some solvent alcohol becomes noticeable. There is some earthy bitterness balancing out the sweetness, though it remains sweetish throughout.

It is medium-bodied and smooth in a slick sort-of-way.

Pretty easy to drink for abv. Not as rich as I was hoping - nor, as I mentioned before, as smoky. On its own it's a decent brew. A bit gimmicky, as intended. It could fit the "lump of coal" theme a bit better. It could be richer. Otherwise, it's a decent English winter brew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Before imbibing, I must say, this label doesn't like me very much. "Much more than you deserve for XMas this year." Actually, well, I have been awfully naughty...I will take my lumps and hope I enjoy them....

Deep, dark appearance, nearly black, with ruby tinges at the sides, and bottom, with a very small, thin, disappearing head.

Aroma is sweetish, mild, lightly roasty....malty, but rather shy for such a boastful beer...

Taste: lightly roasty, bittersweet a bit, but...not quite so rich or thick as we'd like. Rather ordinary. It has a full body, yes, but we want something extra, and if it has it, it hides it. The 8% abv seems well-hidden, at first, though...

Cointinues brighter and fruitier, ...sweeter, syrup-ier....

not bad, but not great...and worth the $5.89 I paid for the 25 ounce bottle?...not?...

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Photo of stakem
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken 11/21/09

Pours dark brown with red hues. Slight tanned head with a fair amount of lace. Little bit of yeast notes in the body of this beer and finishes grainy and bitter. Light feel with a moderate amount of carbonation. For a "dark holiday stout" it is actually quite light for even a porter. As it warms it has a slight amount of
chocolate character left lingering in the mouth. Overall it was decent but not something to please dark stout lovers as the label might lend you to believe.

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Photo of tdm168
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown with a reddish hue and a short, brown head

S - toffee, faint chocolate, faint roasted malts

T - toffee, cola, roasted malts, chocolate, faint bitterness

M - medium bodied, crisp, a bit overcarbonated

This was a pretty disappointing beer. Everything was a bit watered down. None of the flavors were pronounced or forward. It also had a distinct cola-like flavor that I'm really not fond of in my beer. This is a beer I will pass up in the future.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass giving off a very dark walnut brown body. Head is a soapy brown/gray with some retention but not much. Has these nice dark red hues on the side of the glass, fairly interesting looking. Head leaves and goes

Bouqeut is a perfumed soap and malt mostly and some alcohol heat, not much else but pretty straight forward.

Very good mouthfeel with a slight licorice finish. Malt action at first giving to a pleasurable thickness of faint licorice. Hints of weak chocolate as well, even some berry/cherry fruit also. Carbonation is also really tolerable also.

Pretty good nice little stout I would have again.

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