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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

477 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 477
Reviews: 327
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 3
Gots: 19 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ybnorml on 11-25-2004)
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Ratings: 477 | Reviews: 327 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoctorDog


3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 1pt 9fl oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Deep mahogany with some slight ruby highlights. Pours with ~1 finger of surprisingly fizzy light brown head, which fades rapidly to a thin, incomplete cap, and eventually, into nothing at all.

S- Molasses, cherry cordial, and roasty sweetness.

T- Dark molasses and interesting charcoal/burned wood flavors seem to co-mingle with some dark fruity notes. Some slightly drying alcohol tinged astringency on the finish. Interesting, though non-awe inspiring mix.

M- Too high carbonation at the start, which conversely falls to nearly complete flatness before consumption is complete....watery and waaay thinner than I had hoped. I'm always very disappointed to encounter a stout this thin and watery, though it wasn't altogether an un-enjoyable mouthfeel in it's own right....just not at all what I expect in a stout. A score of 3 might be slightly generous here.

D- Not bad. It's thin mouthfeel makes it feel like you can pack it away pretty easily, especially considering the ABV.

Future outlook: A bit of a weird one. Never really felt like I was drinking a "real" stout. Not a terrible brew by any stretch, but not one I would feel compelled to revisit, and certainly not what I was expecting out of a "dark holiday stout."

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 04:57:01 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of yemenmocha


3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours deep chestnut brown. Not quite opaque. Thin head doesn't last.

Nose has a pleasant roasted & caramel quality.

Roasty and chocolatey on the palate. Watery thin body, low carbonation, and somewhat tart finish. Disappointing. Easy to drink, I suppose, but not because of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 02:54:41 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The fourth and final bottle from the Holiday Ales Pack. 500 ml brown bottle, label as above.
Pours deep and dark, almost black, with ruby hilights when held to the light. Short tan head of foamy bubbles that form a solid floating cap. Smell is mildly sweet, roasted malty. Lighlty toasty grains, a bit fruity. Body is slightly thin and one dimensional. 8% alcohol is well hidden. OK as a regular dry stout, but needs alot more (aroma, flavor, body) to judged against other Foreign, high alcohol stouts. Again, slightly dissapointing.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 05:03:39 | More by BigBry
Photo of HoppyInfidel


3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this in my stocking Christmas morning. Poured into a pint glass. Black in the glass, with hints of mahogany when held to the light. Poured with a roughly quarter-inch tan head. Aroma and taste are reminiscent of dark chocolate. Not too bitter, with a nice mouthfeel. This is a stout I'd drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 04:34:07 | More by HoppyInfidel
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 01:11:39 | More by Sammy
Photo of bmwats


3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint.

A: Black. Light carbonation pours into a slight, off-white, bubbly head, which quickly dissipates into a layer of bubbles on the surface. No real lacing to speak of.

S: Light malt and hint of spice.

T: Sweet malt. Bittersweet chocolate.

M: Malt start, sweetness, dry bitter finish.

D: Good solid drinkability.

Overall decent stout. Pretty typical of the style, but certainly worth the quaff.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 06:05:19 | More by bmwats
Photo of lackenhauser


3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark in color but not quite black-ruby black? Small tight 1/8" head on top. Rather bland aroma-somewhat metallic and burnt. Faint port aroma. Mild port flavor, slightly oak like, a tad fruity. The roasted flavor is very faint. Has a sort of homebrew "inky" flavor. Ok body-could use some beefing up. Enjoyable enough but I was expecting something more, especially at 8%.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 22:52:36 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of aubuc1


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

50 cl bottle poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours very dark brown with some ruby highlights and a thick tan head.

Smell is roasty, coffee, and some rich plummy type fruit. Doesn't jump out.

Taste is roasty, plummy and warming. Nothing too great, but no bad tastes or combinations.

Kind of thin, but relatively drinkable for 8%. A fun holiday buy, and would be a great gift for Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 20:07:20 | More by aubuc1
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

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

Pours black with an acceptable tan head and moderate lacing that tends to fade. Roasted sweet chococate nose that is the beer's selling point. Good thickness on first taste, but could use a bigger flavor. Just not enough roast hit my taste buds to back up the aroma. As the beer warmed, the aroma lost some of its toastiness and left behind only the sweet chocolate. Finishes adequately with a slight hint at the abv, but left me wanting for more in its taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 03:26:07 | More by beer2day
Photo of Haybeerman


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, opaque brown color with ruby highlights when held to the light. Poured a 1 finger off-white head with fair retention. Laced in light rings.

S: Dark roasted chocolate and coffee. Light bitters.

T: Dark roasted sweet malts, chocolate and coffee. Warming alcohol.

M: Thick and chewy. Syrupy smooth and creamy. Low carbonation.

D: Doesn't drink like 8%. Very flavorful and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 23:07:46 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of popery


2.23/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Yowza. That is one sweet beer. Unfortunately, that's not a compliment. It's cloying and syrupy. It tastes like someone dumped a load of sugar into the wort or whatever the right term is. I really need to start home brewing, so I don't sound like a moron on here. I like a big, sweet, malty English beer, but this tastes more like a Werther's Orignal than delicious malted barley. The color is a very, very dark amber with a good head and some lacing. The nose is malty, a tiny bit spicy and slightly hoppy. The flavor is much too sweet. It's malt with a ton of sugar thrown on top. Chocolate, butterscotch, toffee, syrup and honey dominate the flavor profile. The feel is syrupy and way over the top sweetness. I could not finish a full 50cl bottle. The name would lose its intended irony for me if I were receive this bottle in my stocking.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 07:56:11 | More by popery
Photo of haningj2

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, 9 oz. bottle.

A - Best part of the beer. VERY dark brown, black under poor lights. Perfect stout color.

S - Not much in this department. Somewhat sweet malty smell, but does not give off much scent.

T - I give this stout much more credit than fellow beer advocates. Great stout flavor, but without discrediting the flavor too much, it does tend to be slightly too sweet for a stout. Sounds strange to say, but true. Very enjoyable.

M - GREAT. The brew just brings a smile to your face.

D - Another strong point of this stout. It is filling, as any stout should be, but drinks easier than anything I've had in a while.

I think this stout is wonderful. I would purchase again. Don't let other BA's mislead you, it is nowhere near as bad as they say. At least give it a try and see for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 20:21:47 | More by haningj2
Photo of tedpeer


3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint.

A - Pours black with an inch off white head that quickly subsided to an 1/8th inch. Little lacing.

S - Roasted malts.

T - Roasted malts, slightly sweet/fruity. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Thin and watery. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 01:28:26 | More by tedpeer
Photo of magictrokini


2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The best part of this beer is how it looks. Midnight black pour with a short-lived brown head. It goes downhill from there. Sour, fake-malt aroma with dank wood and grain. Thin, watery mouthfeel. The taste is not like any stout I have ever had. Corn, grain, sour hops, metal, and burnt malt, but in a bad way. The worst is yet to come: a Jelly Belly popcorn aftertaste. Seems like a gimmick name for a bad, overpriced beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 22:34:15 | More by magictrokini
Photo of champ103


3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A beige head forms, and leaves some spotty lace.
S: Roasted and sweet chocolate malt. Pleasant, but not much is here.
T: Roasted malt and chocolate again. A light astringent fruity flavor. Metallic.
M/D: A medium body with decent carbonation. Not quiet what I expect from a stout. A little watery. Easy and smooth to drink for 8% ABV.

Not my favorite English Stout, and kind of subpar. Once is enough for me with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 21:47:09 | More by champ103
Photo of nrpellegrini


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

Pours a dark black color but thin. A small tan head that fades fast with no lacing. Smells sweet, almost like a milk stout. Drinks the same way, a nice thin and smooth mouthfeel. Sweet but not as sweet as a milk stout, but no bitterness at all. All in all it was a good beer, very drinkable I could have another.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 04:23:53 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of CHSLBrew


3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 25 oz bottle served in an imperial pint glass.

A-Poured a two-finger tan head on top of a deep brown beer with dark ruby highlights. Head reduces quickly to sparse bubbles.

S-Dominated by roasted malts with some roasty chocolate.

T-Like the aromas, dominated by roasted malt and strong, sweet chocolate. Some hints of fruity esters with some raisiny aftertastes.

M-Rather thin body for the style. Still, this beer has a very pleasing velvety feel flowing over my palate. Carbonation is appropriately moderate.

D-Fair drinkability. It has a nice hearty flavor that feels appropriate for a nice, cold-weather Christmas gathering. Not as deep, dark, and foreboding as the description on the label led me to believe. But still, an enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 03:10:32 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of Bung


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

An interesting dark brown pour. Pretty translucent, light can permeate this, it is definetely not black. Smell of malt and raisin. Very malty flavors, some roast, toffee and mocha. Medium bodied, could be considered slightly creamy. As it warms it loses it's creaminess. Finish a little tart/coffee bitter. Very drinkable with 8% abv. I really warming up to this style and this is a good example of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 23:12:22 | More by Bung
Photo of sauron681


3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, practically black. A nice light brown creamy head dissipates to quick for me, but great lacing. Smells of roasted caramel malt, prune/raisin aroma, also hints of toffee. Medium feeling in the mouth, not as thick as i was hoping.

Tastes of dark chocolate malt, slight harsh alcohol overtone. Finishes dry and chalky. Tastes heavy on belgian sugar? Nice fireplace brew but could be improved upon

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 18:49:52 | More by sauron681
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


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

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass the liquid is dark with good carbonation. The head is medium tan, 2 fingers thick and fades fast leaving very little lace.

The smell is mildly roasty with some fruity notes.

The taste follows not very out standing just a simple English stout with a bit more alcohol. Some mild roastiness and some dark fruit.

The mouthfeel is ok, medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, not a bad brew but also not much of a fine crafted seasonal to look forward to either.

Prosit, MK

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 02:57:46 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of Goliath


2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From last years notebook which I just found:

Pours a very dark brown with ruby edges, but black and completely opaque from a short distance. A two finger light tan head forms on the pour and lingers with decent retention leaving some small speckled spots behind.

The aroma is ok. I think I can smell every bit of that 8% ABV though. Some fruity esters and some roasted malts. Caramel and toffee mostly. I was hoping to find something a little darker in the nose due to the color, oh well.

The taste is ok. Some fruity plumbs going on with some caramel, bread, banana, nuts and tons of booze. The alcohol is a bit outspoken here and could stand to be better concealed. It's not obnoxious, but it's the most complex note in there, which is sad.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin and watery with tons of carbonation. Too thin, too carbonated. Although, the carbonation does dies down as you drink.

Drinkability is moderate. It's not good, but not bad either. It's certainly drinkable, but boring and uninspiring. This is a one time purchase for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 20:12:58 | More by Goliath
Photo of Proteus93


3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is obviously something that has been around since last season. Fortunately, the store that I bought it from is always at cellar temperature, with reasonable lighting, and thus maintained better than I could have aged it.

A: A deep brown, highlighted with a golden honey colour around the base and sides. Head is a creamy and very light brown. It forms quite quickly towards, and recedes about as quickly until it is half way down at which point it holds onto itself a bit more.

S + T: This is what I expect out of a winter seasonal, and the little bit of age has done good things for it. Toffee aromas and flavours along with some dark fruits - date and raisin, giving it quite a 'fruit bread' scent. The alcohol offers a boozy kick for character.

M: A bit sticky, almost like a caramel drizzle would be. Some sticky residue over the tongue, a little bit of smack to the lips.

D: The alcohol flavours keep this one a sipper for me, and it has a nice warming effect on the way down. Wouldn't have more than one at any given time, but it's a pretty decent brew, nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 00:52:39 | More by Proteus93
Photo of karengarys


4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This "dark holiday stout" pours very mahogany dark, my slow pour leaves little head. There is a definite "holiday" flavor, something between those strange holiday candies that were popular in the US in the 70s, and nutmeg or something. It is slight, but refreshing. Amazingly, the alcohol flavor is quite well hidden. The taste is nicely balanced malt molassis, and clean refreshing hops. The mouthfeel even meets my American expectations of being foamy or creamy (as opposed to wet and flat). The finish is nice and clean.

I recommend this easy to drink beverage any time of year!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 22:58:50 | More by karengarys
Photo of IBUnit63


4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deeo, dark chocolate brown with a rye bread head that thins quickly.

Lots of oily caramel and alcohol malt in here. Maybe there's some mild piney hop backbone too. Almost Belgian spice notes of cinnamon but more sugary, typical for style? Deep, dark chocolate malt is quite prevalent, needless to say.

Interesting dryness of deep, dark, roasted/chocolate malt. Alcohol is a strong supporting cast with some hop grass and maybe slight pine. A bit of caramel and cinnamon tones.

Soothing at first, but tightens from bittersweet chocolate with warmth combining with piney hops and alcohol burn. Generally coats palate well as with typical high-gravity stout.

This is a very enjoyable offering. Heavy? Wicked heavy. It's a sippah!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 23:13:24 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of long-lasting head.

S: Smelled of coffee, malt, some hops and sweets, as well.

T: Coffee, toffee, roasted malt, hops all mixed in. A little bit thinner than you'd expect, but decent.

M: A middling amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Not a bad beer - drinkable to be sure - but not something to get overly excited about. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 13:27:56 | More by avalon07
Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 477 ratings.