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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: 42 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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