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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

539 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 7
Gots: 40 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 347 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Zebus0
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Great looks. Good tan head, poured dark brown/ruby color. Nice coloring around the edges, like it.

S- Good. Smells a lot stronger than it tastes. Herby. Roasted malt.

T- Roasty. Bit of a coffee hint, some herbs I can't recognize, really smooth finish I found enjoyable.

M- Pretty smooth for this kind of stout. Nothing out of the ordinary or to write home about.

D- An ok holiday stout. Nothing too exceptional. I think this would fair much better with a plate of holiday turkey and taters than alone.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights on the edges. It has a khaki colored head with fine, creamy looking bubbles. Looks like a typical stout, deep, dark and delicious. It gives off a strong roasted malt smell, some dark fruit as well as floral tones, and a hint of licorice. The taste is pretty light, a bit watery. It has a strong roasty presence with toffee notes, dark chocolate, cocoa and a hint of coffee on the back, with a touch of alcoholic heat that numbs the palate just a bit. As it warms, more specific notes of plum and prune as well as fresh tobacco show up. The flavor progression I found went from roasty malt to dark fruit then to a cocoa/bitter chocolate finish. This stout has a light to medium mouthfeel, pretty crisp and makes for a good distinguished and creamy stout

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have had this for while. I was saving it for tonight.

Appearance- black color, thin head

Smell- roasted malts

Taste- roasted malts, coffee

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I liked it but it was lighter than most stouts that I have had. I would drink it again.

Photo of Actualimeer
4.11/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I poured it into a pilsner glass, it color was a rich syrupy gold. As the glass filled, the reddish gold color turned black. It smelled sweet an alcoholic. The taste was clean, sweet and bitter, and it had a definite taste of alcohol. Though it had a thick texture, its after taste was subtle and clean. It went well with my meal, but would have also been good alone.

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

Single bottle (no date I can see) poured into a nonic glass. While the title of the beer is "Lump of Coal Stout" down at the bottom is says English Ale, so I'll keep that in mind as I drink it.

Appearance: Dark brown that lets very little light through with a 1/4" thick head that died down to a very thin foam on the edges of the glass. Some ruby red notes when held up to the light.

Smell: Some of that alcohol ester smell (very faint) and a very slight burnt afternote. However, a candle was lit near the table so I may be smelling that. The smell is not strong either way.

Taste: Malt up front with some molasses and malt tastes, followed by a bitter finish and then a bittersweet (not chocolate exactly) aftertaste. Not to bad and pretty good with a heavy Christmas meal.

Mouthfeel: Just a little bit of carbonation on the tongue, then drinkable like any liquid after that. Nothing really special.

Drinkability: Went very well with a heavy meal and quite appropriate for a holiday meal. I couldn't have another one but good to have and try out. Not exactly a stout as I'm used to, but is really an English ale, and a pretty good one at that.

Photo of spartanfan
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with a small off white head that doesn't leave hardly any lacing behind.

S: Smell is of light roasted malts along with a bit of alcohol. Some sweet almost marshmallow like odors as well.

T: Sweet and roasted malts dominate the flavors of this beer. There is a slight taste of warming alcohol with each swallow.

M: Medium to thin in body, which is surprising considering the 8% ABV. More carbonation than I was expecting, but it's not off putting.

D: There's not that much to this one, which aids in the drinkability. It's not a bad beer, it's just not very complex of flavorful. Nothing real special about this one, other than the name and label.

Photo of imaguitargod
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into my Nonic pint glass (gave it a rough pour) and got a cream colored head which didn't linger all that long and left some lacing. For a stout, this is a little too transparent for my tastes. With the name "Lump of Coal" you'd expect it to be pitch black but instead it is a transparent, blood red color when held up to the light. Sweet, stout like taste, no hops, slightly roasty but VERY thin. In fact, too thin to be classified as a stout, it's more like a sweet Red Ale. Drinkable, but not at all what it should be.

~Jonathan Passow

Photo of crossovert
3.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish/brown with a moderate tan colored head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is laking, nothing really there, maybe some sweet dark malt.

Taste is better, but the mouthfeel is watery, this tastes like a boosted up Guiness, not what I would expect from craft.

Overall a forgettable holiday stout with no holiday character.

Photo of jrallen34
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer is a dark brown, not black, with some red in the light. The head rises weakly about a finger of medium tan head that has decent retention and weak lacing.

The aroma is way way to light for a stout. There is very small amount of dark candi but that's it.

The taste actually has some flavor, much more than I was expecting. There is some light roasty coffee, no clue where that came from. However, its pretty muted, like most English beers then finishes with a light bitterness.

The feel is too watery for a stout.

Overall, nothing special your typical English stout lacking assertivness, flavor and direction.

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

A - mahogany topped with thick cream. While the head is nice & dense, the brew looks a little thin for a stout and lets a fair bit of light pass thru.

S - caramel, toffee. good strong holiday flavors but little else, and not quite the charred sensation you might expect from "coal."

T - rounds out nicely thanks to ample bittering to complement the otherwise sweet malts. the booze comes through more than in stouts from brewers who specialize in big dark ales -- but in a holiday export special, I consider it welcome

M - quite rich and full considering the somewhat light appearance. average coating, not very oily, but what does remain with you is pleasant & rich. also retains more carbonation than most.

D - while it's not quite what you'd expect from the label, the overall profile is enjoyable and easy to drink. their presentation of 8% ABV is not terribly subtle, but on a day like today (>12" of snow) you wouldn't want it to be.

Photo of nickd717
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer Store in SF for $6.

Pours dark brown with a one-finger beige head.

Aroma is caramel, spice, chocolate, and mild roast.

Flavor is pretty nice with caramel malt, toffee, a little milk chocolate, cola, roasted malt, and some holiday spices.

Medium body with a fairly smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

High drinkability. Good stuff overall, a bit underrated.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

50cl bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Looked a little thin on the pour, nice even dark reddish brown, good clarity when held to the light, small tan head of large and small bubbles interspersed, resolves quickly into just a couple bubbles on surface and a ring around the edge of the glass. LEaves medium amount of lacing which raised the score for me to slightly above average.

S = Small hints of treacle and molasses but both of these are very light, also some tart fruit juice or at least maybe some dried lemon and orange peel, light butterscotch, light dried grass, also some hint of spices but I cannot quite place it, almost like cardamon of something. Interesting but very understated.

T = Some light butterscotch, lightly burnt toast with the bitterness that brings, still a lot of balance, not really sweet or bitter, sweeter than not I guess but still enough hops in there to even the score.

M = Medium body, this is heavier bodied than I expected given the look on the pour and the lightness of the smell, decent mouthcoating, fine level of carbonation which is very steady and maybe bites just slightly too much but not bad.

D = This is actually a pretty pleasant drinking beer for the ABV.

Photo of Patrick999
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone imperial pint. Not really dark enough to call itself a stout, IMO, it's rather a dark ruby red. Thin head with very fine bubbles.

Aroma is of milk chocolate, fudge. Smells milky, like malted milk balls. Not bad at all.

Taste-wise, it's nothing you've never had before. Chocolate, raisin, with just a little char. Slight earthy hop bitterness throughout. The 8% ABV is pretty well hidden, I might have pegged it for 6%. Not groundbreaking, but it's tasty.

Feel is somewhat creamy, but I feel it could be a little more lush.

At this strength, drinkability is well above average. Very nearly comes off as session-able in that it's a tasty beer yet not too harsh, nor does it force you to think too hard while drinking it. Of course, the 8% will claim you if you try, but it feels like something you could drink a lot of without much of a problem. Seems to me a little underrated at B-....hardly a bad beer.

Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear dark brown color with lighter brown highlights and a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of watered-down roasted malt with light amounts of cocoa powder and nondescript fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The roasted malt flavors are a bit more robust than the smell intimates and kick things off. Cocoa powder flavors join in midway through the sip along with a light fruitiness reminescent of certain Irish Dry Stouts. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this wasn't a bad stout however the flavors really didn't make any kind of impact, rather they were just there. Not one to avoid but not one to seek out.

Photo of steve8robin
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

PArt of my holiday finds. Opened this on the first snowfall of '09...

A: Translucent dark stout. Very little white laced head that fades quickly. Not too impressed with the look of this one.

S: No matter how hard I sniff or how I hard I try to shake the brew, it does not unlock any scents.

T: Not horrible, but nothing new or impressive. Very light almost like drinking water. Mediocre.

M: A little too much carbonation for my taste. Kind of like tonic water.

D: Nothing makes this brew special. Goes down easy for the wrong reasons. Too light to be called a stout.

All in all, this brew is not recommended. Ridgeway has other brews that are more worth your money. Should not be classified in the stout style because it cannot compete with brews in the same style.

2.37/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

An aggressive pour into a nonic glass brought out a slight head that did a quick vanishing act and left some lace here and there. A very dark ruby colored ale but not the black of a stout or porter.

Smells odd? I get a whiff of cheap bear like Natty Boe then sweet and fruity aromas, ( Cherry? ) very two dimensional.

Fair mouthfeel, lightly carbonated, thin for stout, hell thin for a porter, not bad just again no complexity.

Taste? This was the worst part. Reminds me of what Dr Pepper would taste like if it were a beer. The "skunkiness" mentioned by others is the first perceived taste, then sweet like cola with hints of cherry. No toasted malts/coffee/chocolate/bread flavors and no bitterness to speak of.

For almost $7 a pint this was a huge disappointment.

FYI.--- I am a porter and stout lover and this offering missed the style by a mile.

Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.