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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

346 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 558
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: 346 | Hads: 558
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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Photo of MaximalC
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*This bottle is well over a year old, and I have no idea if this beer ages, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Pours molasses in color with caramel highlights and a modest, khaki head. Smells of molasses, caramel, a hint of chocolate, and some alcohol. The flavor is surprisingly mild compared to the aroma, with far less sweetness than I expected and a decent dose of hop bitterness to counter. There's a roasted character that evokes burnt sugar, but the character of the malt is otherwise difficult to pin down. Warming allows some dark fruit to come through as well. An acrid taste lingers on the back of the tongue as the hop finish inelegantly presents itself. The mouthfeel is slick and sticky, with that stickiness lingering palpably on the lips. I will say that the 8% ABV is adeptly concealed. Unfortunately, that which conceals it is not especially impressive in its own right.

Export stouts are my least preferred stout, so it's hard for me to find one that impresses me, and this is no exception. This brew is drinkable but perfectly forgettable in my estimation.

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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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz : tulip

Pours black with deep mahogany highlights when held to light, has a bubbly light brown head that dissipates to leave some lacing and a sparse, bubbly foam.

Some cocoa pleasant cocoa notes, fairly one dimensional in the aroma.

Roast is more prominent in the taste than the nose, with some cocoa coming through as well.

Fairly standard mouthfeel for the style with a medium body and bubbly, medium carbonation.

Nothing too memorable, but an enjoyable Export Stout overall.

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Photo of mschind
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Not exactly dark as a lump of coal, more like a clear dark brown with reddish notes. Two finger mocha colored head that gradually dissipated leaving some lacing around the glass.

S- Pleasant aroma, more like a quad than a stout. Brown sugar, vanilla and dark fruit.

T- Sweet up front with a moderately bitter finish from the roasted malt. Not much in the way of hops. The alcohol is noticeable in the back.

M- A bit thin with a slightly rough edge imparted by the alcohol.

O- An interesting novelty beer. Not sure what makes this a holiday brew other than the sweetness. An average sweet stout with an above average aroma and a funny story on the label.

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Photo of KajII
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a very dark cola brown with an average (1-2 finger) light tan creamy head that was mostly diminishing, down to a thin puddled film and medium collar with excellent sticky sheets of lacing,

The aroma was of roasted dark bread malts and a bold leathery yeast with notes of bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, dark fruit (prunes and plums) and a hint of smoke.

The taste was very roasty and a bit malty with a slight dark fruit sweetness and a note of bitter chocolate from the start, becoming a tad bitterer with a big coffee presence and a touch of smoke right at the end. The flavor lasted a nice long time preceding the swallow, with a bold creamy, bitter, smoky taste left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a few steps past medium in body with a thin creamy texture and a nice soft carbonation.

Overall this is a very enjoyable brew with a good fruity and chocolaty feel along with a bold bitter roastiness, now add a wisp of smoke and you have a very good tasting and easy to drink brew...


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Photo of Fatehunter
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Two fingers of head, almost black colored body.
Smell is the roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee. Strong and bold.
Big roasted malt flavor with moderate bitterness. Nice balance that maintains a strong "dark" taste.
Medium body with moderate carbonation.
The darkness reigns in this beer.

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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.

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Photo of SerialHiker
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark reddish brown…not overly transparent…some nice khaki colored head about an inch thick form and stuck around…nice and appetizing…(4/5)

Smell: Sweet candy, with some holiday spice…caramel malts, roasted malts, toffee, alcohol heat, dark fruits, cherry, some earthy hops…tons of alcohol heat…(3/5)

Taste: Roasted malt and barley in the beginning accented by sweet, cherry candy and holiday spices…earthy, piney hops and dark fruit flavor show up in the middle rounding out the malty beginning…tons of alcohol heat in the flavor, kinda dominant, does detract from overall taste…(2/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with light carbonation…it is a bit watery and alcoholy…roasted malt and barley flavor coats tongue…(2/5)

Overall: The idea of a Christmas stout is interesting, but this brew doesn’t live up to expectations…it’s got the makings of a holiday ale or lager, but there is plenty left to be desired, like a thicker disposition…while it is warming my belly, I think most of that is from the higher ABV and not necessarily the cinnamon and clove…the spices are not crisp, leaving a slightly heavy, overdone taste in my mouth…I’ll finish this one, but don’t think I’ll be looking for another…there are better choices for a holiday brew…(2/5)

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks can be deceiving. "A Dark Holiday Stout" is what the label reads, and while there are some anise aromas, there's little else that reminds me of other holiday treats (beers). While it is not as dark as a lump of coal as the label also notes, it is on the darker side of some porters, or root beers.

The head fizzled out right quick, and only a faint trace of one was left. No lacing here at all. Sweet scents, a bit of a maple aroma, but that's all for me. The taste is also sweet, but because the body is very light (again, more like a porter), it is not cloyingly sticky and syrupy. Woody tasting, some smoke, and more rummy sweetness. Very mild carbonation, which was a welcome element.

One that I might get again, though I won't seek it out.

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Photo of brewdude1982
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a bomber poured into a snifter.

A: 4.0  lighter dark pour with red undertones
S: 4.0 dark malts and slight hops
T: 4.0 light dark malt taste and very little hops
MF: 3.5 light on the body but bigger on taste
O: 4.0 this a very pleasant beer with a nice finish. I would recommend to friends and family. I could even see doing this beer as a session beer if it were on tap somewhere

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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 BeerLover99
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: dark brown/mahogany shimmer, trace khaki head, solid lacing

S: mild chocolate, toffee, nutty, hint of booze

T: hint of black licorice, sugary roasted black coffee,
firm bready middle, long boozy finish

M: med body, smooth/mild creamy mouth

O: To celebrate International Stout Day saw this at
my new local beer shop. Not bad, probably not get it again.
Love beers from British Isles.


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

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very dark brown color with ruby highlights, two fingers of tan colored craggy head lasts for two minutes and leaves medium amounts of lacing behind on the glass. Heavier body and lighter carbonation.

Smells of licorice, a splash of black coffee, and a light amount of char roast. Tastes of both milk and dark chocolate, with a lesser amount of licorice than the nose, and a hint of burnt fruitiness around the edges of the other flavors that amplifies as the glass warms up. My token criticism is that I would have liked for that fruitiness and roasted character to show up at a higher level / depth than what I received.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark brown, appearing black. Faint aroma of light malt and dark fruits. Flavors are typical English dry stout. Light toasted malt and a hint of burnt coffee, dark fruit. Flavor is fairly subdued. Light to medium bodied. Pleasant, but not a great stout. Still one of the better Ridgeways, which tend to be rather bland in flavor, IMHO.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan bubbly head that clings to the edge of the glass. Nice lacing. Pretty beer.

Chocolate covered cherries anyone? A strong ale mixed with a splash of stout. Not much of a stout nose, but I'm rating what I smell, which is sweet, toasted fruit filled malt.

Lots of character here. If a blind taste test existed for this, I'd never pick stout as an option, except for the finish. Big cherry and woody flavors, with sweet tawny malt up front. Light bitter in the middle, and here comes the dark roasted malt and light bitter finish. What a wild ride! Low grades because people want this to be something else. It is a miss-mash of flavors, but they work.

Fuller bodied, sllck and mouth coating.

Overall, a one and done. You can't do 2 of these one after the other. Rich and sweet/bitter. Good complexity, but not a true stout. I liked this, but not enough to go after this as a must have. I like the complexity and the quality of the brew. My advice -- share this.

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Photo of chilly460
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours extremely dark brown, with very minimal head after an aggressive pour. Head dissipated almost immediately leaving minimal ring around the outside of the glass. Some tiny bubbled lacing left on the glass.

S: Very mild smelling beer. Get sweeter caramel malts immediately, somewhat burnt smelling but not roasty if that makes sense. As it warms, get a bit more of a nutty tone. Moves into some richer toffee aroma as it continues to warm, but all along it simply doesn't have much "punch" in the nose.

T: Immediately get some darker roast in the initial hit, with plenty of sweetness, like molasses. Get a bit of saltiness at times, some worstershire type flavor.

M: Low carbonation and quite thick, but somehow didn't feel "smooth". May have been the sharpness of that "salty" taste not letting it smooth out.

O: It was OK, but I can't say I'd buy another. Just not a big flavor profile, no warming roast or complexity that I'd want from a midrange stout.

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Photo of legalpete19340
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark brown with some ruby highlights. A substantial head popped up with champagne like bubbles. Not much lacing or coverage on this one.

S: Mild is putting it, well, mildly. An intense search reveals very mild coffee and possible dark chocolate. Really, it is just odorless.

T: Here's some flavor, where was it in the nose? Comes on with a burnt malt character that hints of licorice. Some coffee too. From here its all dark chocolate covered cherries. The end is smooth and sweet.

M: Very medium across all fronts but with enough heft on the tongue to keep it in stout range.

O: Basically a good beer that is fairly one dimensional. Was enjoyable enough but as a holiday beer because of the sweet factor. The smell is definitely not inline with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of tito42
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. If this is a Julian date stamp on the label, it was bottled in July 2011.

A: Dark sepia, rather clear, with a very foamy cocoa head that leaves decent lacing and sticks around. Not quite as dark as I like my stouts to be.

S: Roasted malt with notes of coffee, tobacco, and fig. A whiff of alcohol as well. Somewhat faint but comes on as the beer warms.

T: Roasted malt and barley up front gives way quickly to a burnt coffee flavor. A peppery kick at the end and cherry and fig throughout. Also a hint of chocolate. Somewhat unbalanced compared to other foreign stouts, too much competing for my taste bud's attention here, without coordinating the effort. A pepper, like cayenne, lingers afterward.

M: Malty and dextrous. The finish is a bit harsh, really dries the tongue out, but fades away quickly as well.

O: An average effort at a foreign/export stout. Doesn't hold 8% necessarily well, with an unbalanced flavor profile.

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Photo of beergoot
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, dark mahogany body with a fair off-white head. Decent lacing and rings down the glass.

Aroma is dominated by dark, roasted malt scents with a hint of floral and grassy hops. A smidgeon of coffee notes...

The taste is relatively rich: medium body with nice dark, roasted malts and cocoa. A good roasted bitterness in the finish.Tasty...

This a a decent stout representative. Nicely balanced between scent, taste, and mouthfeel. Better than average and worth checking out...Subtle and worthy for the style...

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Photo of r3dsix
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this on sale and decided to give it a try.

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Looks as dark as my morning coffee. What little head is there is white and disapates quickly.

There is very little odor from the beer although is not bad smelling its isn't very enticing. A suggestion of charred malt and alcohol make a reluctant appearance.

The alcohol taste is fairly prominent and made me do a double take to find only 8% alc/vol. Aside from that Smokey malts are present with a strong taste of cherry or other dark Berry like taste. Also notes of a coffee liqure are present.

There is a moment of a nice taste to this beer but it doesn't stay for long. It washes away quickly to be soon forgotten.

Would not buy again. Would not recommend to anyone. Would still drink it if offered to me.

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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 GarthDanielson
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark brown, with ruby highlights. Thin film covering, with a slightly heavier ring around the glass. Effervescent aromas of coffee and dark fruit, with roasty, toasty tones. The flavors are rich, with a dark chocolate highlight over the roasted coffee flavors. Lighter bodied for a stout, with no cling left behind. The aftertaste is more of the sweet notes with a coffee bitter to balance, and a fairly quick, slick finish. Decent, but not spectacular.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, dark red highlights around the edge when held up to the light, smallish tan head that sticks around though and leaves a cap on top.

Smell is barely existent, really have to search to even find the roasted malt aroma.

Taste is fairly straightforward, roasted malt up front and is the primary flavor, a burnt bitterness follows in the aftertaste, soft carbonation adds a bit of creaminess even though it's interrupted by a semi-dry finish, strength is very well hidden though.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
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.


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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.