Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing
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Ratings: 482 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev +8.1%
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.
12-28-2008 01:11:39 | More by Sammy
3.45/5 rDev 0%
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.
01-14-2011 04:38:35 | More by metter98
3.9/5 rDev +13%
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.
05-08-2005 16:04:29 | More by BuckeyeNation
2.83/5 rDev -18%
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
12-01-2006 02:04:08 | More by brentk56
4.03/5 rDev +16.8%
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.
11-12-2006 19:27:11 | More by BEERchitect
3.4/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
06-20-2011 19:27:49 | More by Knapp85
4.13/5 rDev +19.7%
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.
11-24-2005 02:31:40 | More by oberon
2.53/5 rDev -26.7%
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.
01-06-2010 01:52:03 | More by emerge077
3.2/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
11-26-2007 01:06:23 | More by zeff80
4.22/5 rDev +22.3%
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!
12-22-2006 00:38:02 | More by NeroFiddled
4.1/5 rDev +18.8%
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.
12-30-2007 07:35:02 | More by RblWthACoz
3.98/5 rDev +15.4%
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.
12-25-2007 07:22:19 | More by nickfl
3.15/5 rDev -8.7%
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.
11-26-2009 01:34:31 | More by WVbeergeek
3.85/5 rDev +11.6%
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
07-27-2008 22:56:13 | More by russpowell
3.83/5 rDev +11%
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?...
12-01-2005 03:40:26 | More by feloniousmonk
3.73/5 rDev +8.1%
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
01-22-2012 04:47:59 | More by StonedTrippin
3.58/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
07-18-2011 01:44:28 | More by Mora2000
3.43/5 rDev -0.6%
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.
12-25-2007 22:01:44 | More by jwc215
3.48/5 rDev +0.9%
This has a medium carbonation, but a vigorous pour summons forth a fat-two-finger thick, frothy, light brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color, though when held up directly to the light it does show a brilliantly clear, burnt ruby color. Aromas of roasted grain up front, but quickly a rich, sweet, malt note becomes noticeable in the form of prunes, raisins and figs. Towards the finish some light toasted malt aromatics come into play. The aroma does not smell so much of roast malt as it does of deeply caramelized fruit.
This has a medium full heft to it, though I would say it might be a little on the light side. Definitely somewhat sweet, this accentuates some fruit notes as does a very light tartness. The fruit flavors are not nearly as concentrated and caramelized as the aroma would have suggested, but they also take on a roasted note to them. This tastes a bit like raisins, concentrated plums, hints of cherries and perhaps some dried figs that have been left a bit too long under the broiler. The roast / burnt flavors are a bit bolder than in the nose; flavors of coffee, lightly astringent burnt grain husks, some burnt acidity in the finish and a light burnt grain bitterness are all noticeable throughout the flavor profile of this beer. Towards the finish a deeply caramelized, rich malt flavor develops; it seems to be a cross between toffee, raisins and some rich, holiday, dark, sweet bread / cake.
I finally found an enjoyable brew in this lot of British holiday brews. The dominant flavors here definitely evoke thoughts of fruit; this is derived from the mix of tart notes, light sweetness, and & concentrated malt flavors). Perhaps not a great beer, but it is certainly a beer that is an enjoyable sipper for this particular evening. I could ask for a touch more richness of flavor and body though.
11-15-2007 01:29:18 | More by Gueuzedude
Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.