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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

545 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 545
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 7
Gots: 43 | 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 (26) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 348
Photo of 9InchNails
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A light brown head that fizzles out quickly. Looks extremely carbonated as bubbles seem to be going crazy just by the crackling I hear. Not completely opaque, dark but I see some hints of ruby red in the body.

A light cherry chocolate smell. I can smell a hint of citrus hops and molasses.

Smooth medium body not as carbonated as it sounded but still bites the tongue.

Bitterness in the hops upfront, slight metalic taste but fades into a more chocolate cherry taste. Molasses and slight cocoa roasted malts are present. For a high ABV of 8% it is completely masked by the flavors. As it warms and gets toward the glass, the alcohol is more present.

Its quite filling so the drink ability is a little low. I might be able to have another one of these.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark black with good carbonation and a nice tannish head, lots of bubbles and lacing

S: Hints at smoke, grains and that is all

T: Smoke and chocolate mainly, grains

M: Sordove watery for the size of the stout. High carbonation as well

D: Glad I gave it a shot but wont be back to it

Photo of TheSarge
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Giv'n this beer a whirl, but I may have paid too much by looking at previous reviews.

Poured this into a Guinness Extra Stout pint glass, and it looks pretty good with a nicely filtered body of nearly jet black color, but sheds dark ruby red hues when held up to the light. The cranium presentation is a two finger thick head, which is khaki colored.

There is not much in the aroma, but a hint of burnt toast, and very light hints of semisweet chocolate.

The taste of this brew is just about like any other stout from England, with a burning ethyl finish. It is light semisweet chocolate and butter mixed together, a cola like middle, and an herbal and leathery finish. Feels a little thin for the lower ABV, but again the ethyl kick in the end is a little much.

Photo of 100floods
2.26/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Meets the stout visual 'standards': black hue, two finger tan head. Roast-like aroma's burst out of the bottle upon its opening. Smells like an amber ale. What? Thin body, malty but not roasty. Noticeable carbonation. Definitely leaning towards darker flavors. Sweet, bitter milk chocolate. Roasted after taste. The body to this beer definitely effects the presentation of this beer's taste. I can't help but noticing that taste a lot like cola with roasted malt. It's refreshing to have a beer that isn't trying to knock you off your seat, but that doesn't save this beer. If I were to have this on cask I think I might like this a little more. It just tasted watered down.

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500 mL bottle tried 27 Dec 2009.

Served in a 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Medium beige head, foamy. Lightly carbonated. Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Sweet strong aromas of molasses and prunes, a touch of pear. Molasses is the primary flavor component. Kind of like a slightly souped up brown ale. Kind of watery finish, but warming with alcohol. Rather thin body. Needs more roastiness and body.

Unlikely to get this again.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle from 2009 holiday pack so this one is about a year and a half old. Pours a dark brown/ruby color with a thin beige foam. Retention is slightly poor and lacing is nearly non-existent.

Nose is fruity, chalky and sweet. Malts range from chocolate to mildly roasty and are a bit one-dimensional. British heritage is readily apparent with the mineral chalk and berry-esque fruitiness.

Taste is pleasant and it fits the bill as an export stout...upon first tasting. Right in the middle of an imperial and a regular stout, there is plenty of chocolaty sweetness with a fair amount of roast and alcohol. Mild fruit contributes more of a complexity aspect than a straight up fruit flavor. Carbonation level is a bit high and the mouthfeel is a touch thin, but I am liking this slightly aged version better than the fresh one I had a year and a half ago. Mouthfeel is a bit 'wet' and lingers on far too long in a licorice type of profile. Some sourness comes out upon warming and is distracting. There is plenty not to like here, there are much better Export Stout style beers out there. See Buried Hatchet and Left Hand FTB 1. I will pass in the future, but will not keep me from at least trying some more Ridgeway brews in the future.

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.

Photo of bheilman
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark amber, I can see where it gets it's name. The smell is nice, rich with dark malts. Taste is not so great. It's lighter than I hoped but it does have some chocolate, coffee and toffee type flavors. The aftertaste is a little bit metallic. Not sure if my bottle was contaminated, but it did taste a little more metallic than any beer I've ever had. It is a really smooth beer and easy to drink although that metal taste I mentioned will prevent me from buying this again.

Photo of jwillcourt
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the 25 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Very dark brown which does appear black in the glass. Finger-sized head is tan with a red tint. It disappears in 1-2 minutes, leaving no lacing and skim of foam on top that stays. It is very dark and there is no visible carbonation.

S - Burned malt and a little cocoa. Yeast (bottle was stored on its side, perhaps it should have been stored upright).

T - Chocolate and cocoa taste up front. Slight sassafras and cola flavors follow. Hops provide a slight bitterness in the finish. Not much aftertaste.

M - Body feels thin for the style. The foam on top feels silky smooth and is one of its redeeming qualities. Finish feels a little chalky. There is no residual mouth feel.

D - It seems drinkable because of its light body and lack of residual flavor and mouth feel. Also, it hides the alcohol really well. Even though it is 25 oz and 8% ABV, I don't feel it at all. While I could easily have another, the flavor just doesn't compel me to.

This would rate better as a brown ale or porter than a stout. The lump of coal is a nice concept, but oversells this beer.

Photo of hustlesworth
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- clear very dark cocoa brown topped by a light tan doughy head with a rocky surface and loads of thick lace.

S- dark chocolate and mineral water, a touch of coffee, some mild citric hops, brown sugar, burnt cookies, sandalwood, and brandied cherries.

T- big chocolate and woodsy flavor, hard water, mild coffee bitterness, and enough earthy citrus hop flavor to pull through nicely. alcohol flavors are evident behind all the malt sweetness, but they're not too overbearing and they remind me of french vodka. cocoa and roasted flavors give way to zesty hop bitterness in the finish.

MF- this is one creamy brew! full and expansive in the mouth, and the low level (albeit prickly) carbonation barely pushes through the sludge until the swallow. this stuff seems thicker than heavy cream and very heavy, closer to eggnog or or a cream sauce that has been slightly reduced. other reviewers are stating it to be thin but i'm not getting that at all. rather slippery as well but leaves a coating feeling as it dries.

D- it's almost a month past christmas and i didn't get a stocking, but if i did this wouldn't have been a bad stuffer. possibly the biggest english stout i've had, and by that i mean considerable alcohol content and body but with flavor and aroma that are par for the course. i wouldn't call it close to imperial, but it definitely packs a boozy kick that is warming to say the least. one and done for me, i've been a bad elf this year.

Photo of wangbruins
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, dark black, like motor oil, with a light two inch head that stayed for a couple of minutes

S- Chocolate and smoke with some plums and a little bit of grape

T- Lots of smoke and chocolate...the chocolate is stronger than most stouts I've had but the smoke comes out in the aftertaste

M- Thinner than most stouts with a very slight aftertaste, but not at all overpowering

D- Very good and very easy to drink. It's a shame I didn't get more

Photo of Chambic
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

01.14.10 at City Beer Store.

A: looks thin, a bit like cola, with steady lacing

S: light cocoa; expected a fuller, richer chocolate taste

T: fully chocolate-y, especially on the finish

M: the chocolate really enhances the smoothness

D: on the lighter side, making it quite drinkable

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

This is a very good beer indeed. It really looks a bit like coal in so far as it is dark black with minimal lacing on top.

The smell is very rich with dark chocolate, roast caramel, christmas spice and some alcohol present

The taste is all of the above upfront with little in the way of an aftertaste. It s almost a bit much at once and this beer could score more highly.

The body is lighter tahn expected and really pleasant - another one please and some Christmas pudding!

Photo of adamette
1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 50 cl bottle that I bought at Reider's in Painesville last week. This is the fourth and final of four in a series from Ridgeway Brewing Company focusing on Christmas that I will be tasting and rating. Poured into my Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale goblet glass. F11 257 stamped on bottom of back label. Also on the back label: "....This brew is as dark as it gets, as black as the lump of coal you'll be getting for Christmas. Because, let's face it, you've been pretty bad this year."

A 2 inch frothy light brown head over dark body but not completely black as claimed on the label. There is plenty of mohagany light glowing in front of direct light. I like the nice head but am dissapointed that the body is not black as claimed in addition to the name of the beer indicated a very black beer. 2.5

S Very little smell. Repeated sips reveal some dark roast malt and that is about it. That is found in this style but really it is not very fragrant at all. 2.5

T Not even a satisfying dark roast malt, more of a light porter taste of medium roast malt and no hops really. This is a rather shallow tasting beer and not true to the stated style either. On top of all of that, there is a slightly rotted barley presence that is kind of gross. 1.5

M Much too thin for the style although the creamy head helps soften it a bit. 2.0

D Not good since the taste is so objectionable and I am highly dissapointed with the lack of dark roast malt presence. 2.0

Notes: The weakest of the 4 Ridgeway Brewing Company beers that I tasted and rated this week.

Photo of Amalak
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had out of a 25 ounce bottle. It's very, very dark brown. Basically solid. Nice tan, foamy head with lace. Some bubbles visible. Spicy scent.

It has a very malty taste. Heavy, full-bodied. Alcoholly. Very smooth, with little spice for a holiday beer. Excellent stout, but if you are expecting a spicy winter warmer, this isn't it.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A deep red with just a bit of deep amber color in the highlight. There is only a thin, frothy head that evaporates quickly but remains as a solid fluffy snow skim through out the glass. Minimal but attractive frosty lacing is left behind.

The smell is burnt, coffee-like, with some spice and dark fruit mixed in. Black cherry and mocha are other elements of the aroma.

The taste is dark roast malt, coffee, very dry with the only sweetness coming in with a bit of a milky aftertaste. Some hops add spice and sourness but only mildly so. There is also a bit of bourbon or whiskey in the flavor and in the swallow. There is some vanilla and perhaps a bit of clove as well. Though it is not overly sweet like some of the holiday "cookie" stouts.

The mouthfeel is alcoholic and thin, lending to the astringency of the flavor. There is a bubbly, fullness that gives a soda-like consistency.

This stout is quite drinkable, with the bitterness and alcohol subdued by the light body of the beer. The dense dryness leaves a very spiked (as in with alcohol) coffee impression.

Initially I didn't notice a particularly striking attribute or character, but the more I drink it the more it grows on me. It isn't a beer I'd normally make a reach for but it has more in the way of unique quality the more I drink it.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my pint glass the beer is blood red with black edges. The mocha hued head is about 1 finger high and fades rather quick. A thin layer of lace is left around the glass.

The aroma is light black coffee with sweet brown sugar and hints of chocolate.

The flavor is light coffee and dry chocolate. It has a sort of mediciney bitter finish. Hints of chalk seem to stick with me after each sip.

Medium to thin body with very little carbonation.

Overall this was a lump of coal. I guess you got to give them credit for letting you know ahead of time.

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.

Photo of projectflam86
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours a thin murky dark brown color with a tiny beige head that leaves no lacing.

S- Some faint dark fruit scents with hints of smoke and toasted grains.

T- Light smoky burnt flavor with a barely noticeable amount of bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish.

M- I was expecting quite a bit more body in an 8% Foreign Export Stout. I guess I was wrong. Watery thin body with low carbonation.

D- Not a terrible beer...just not nearly as good as other quality stouts.

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

Poured ½ of the bottle into a snifter. Formed a very thin layer of tan fizz that could pass as a head...this dissipated very quickly leaving no lacing what so ever. The body is a very deep blackish brown that allows no light in, but has purplish edges when held at eye level.

The aromas are burnt chocolate, toasted malts and molasses. You can pick up some dark coffee and earthy grains in the background as it warms.

The flavor is bitter throughout. Starts off with a black coffee bite that gives way to some of the malts and burnt grains. The finish has a bitter punch with a combination of hops and warming alcohol.

Thin, oily mouth feel with mild carbonation.

Drinkable, but not what I was looking/hoping for....just so/so...eh.

Photo of Rayek
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep garnet, but not bordering on black like most stouts. A fizzy cream cap comes and goes fairly quickly and leaves only a little lace.

S: Coffee and molasses, plus a goodly dose of alcohol.

T: Bitterness dominates with strong earth and black tea flavors. There's a slight burnt note at work, but not much. A molasses and licorice sweetness is out front. Alcohol adds nice warmth going down.

M: The medium-heavy body is slightly dry and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: I found this beer to be OK, but not great. There are better Export Stouts out there in my opinion. I'm still glad I got try it.

Photo of cvfish
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a dark brown color (not quite a lump of coal) that produced a fluffy tan head that had little retention and left a minimal amount of lace along the side of the glass

S - The aroma of this beer had some roasted malts and coffee, muted for a Stout

T - The taste of this beer is also light for a Stout, some toasted malts and coffee, not much else

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light amount of carbonation

D - This beer was a gift on Christmas, and this beer is an easy drink and had some good flavor to go along with. To bad a certain Beer Show host had to ruin the shape of the bottle for me

Photo of KTCamm
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Final beer in the four beer christmas themed sample pack. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark black with virtually no foam or bubbles. This could be black milk I am pouring.

Smells of roasted malt and coffee.

Taste is roasted malt, with a very modest hop finish. Very dry. Light carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Drinkable stout, well made, clean taste, almost uneventful, but still enjoyable.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Christmas gift here from the girlfriend. Poured a big bottle into a giant frozen glass stein.

A: Dark, dark brown with a surprisingly small tan head.

S: Licorice, malt, barnyard and earth.

T: Alcohol is masked slightly here by a chocolate/coffee body. A little watery for how dark it looks.

Drinkability: I couldn't really see having more than one bottle, but it does make an awesome Christmas gift!

Photo of ndekke39
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My brother-in-law gave me a bottle of this for Christmas. Pours a very dark reddish-brown, thin off-white head. Smells of mostly of roasted grains, more like a Scottish Ale. Tastes much the same. Dark roasty flavors. A little too loose of a mouthfeel for a stout - too watery. Very drinkable, flavorful beer, but not quite a stout.

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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.