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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

482 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 482
Reviews: 328
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 482 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BWH3
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout English Pint Bottle
Drinking Vessel: Goblet
Temp: 50 F allowed to warm and breathe

Appearance: A rich black with a hint of ruby red covered by a thin white head. Carbonation was appropriately light, but head retention was minimal.

Scent: Surprisingly hoppy with light coffee and a sweet malt aroma. I found the hop aroma not to be the most appealing when combined with the coffee scent.

Taste: The palate is dominated by dried dark fruit and an alcohol taste. The taste is not very smooth. More roasted barely might smooth this brew out or perhaps a few more months in the cellar. The dark fruit seemed to remind me of a Dubbel which I thought was unusual for a stout, but maybe it is okay for a holiday stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but runs freely off the tongue.

Drinkability: Below average. One and done. I was glad to finish this beer off. Not to mention an above average price makes this beer less palatable.

BWH3, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Cellar temp. Not a bad stocking stuffer that I'm just getting around to.

Poured a bit thinner than I expected, but looks nice and dark in my imperial pint glass. Not that inky black, but inviting. Fluffy light tan head. Gentle swirling brings the head back. Lacing is limited to little spots.

Nose isn't that impressive. Darkly roasted malt and not a lot else...just a hint of chocolate, and maybe a lactic quality? I'm trying and failing to discern hops.

Taste is OK, but again not what I expected. Heavily roasted malt with a bit of sweetness - wish it was more of an interesting carmelized sugar. Not really tongue-coating but creamy and good. A touch of hop bitterness. Reasonably tasty, and mouthfeel is pretty good...just thin. Hard not to be disappointed that this isn't bigger.

Drinkability is pretty good - higher than expected, and none of the 8% ABV is noticeable. Sessionable, but there are cheaper alternatives.

The name, label, 8%, etc etc combine to create an image of a beer that IMO this is definitely NOT. Too bad. Congrats - your advertising made my friend buy your beer, but instead of a "dark holiday stout" it reminds me of a better than average hearty porter. Nice gift, but I don't think I'll buy it.

udubdawg, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: It’s true; I haven’t been very good this year. Lists 8% abv and little else. There is an undecipherable code which might indicate a date (sneaky bastards).

Aroma: Some chocolate, chocolate malt, leafy hop and roasted malt.

Appearance: Black glass with a thick ruby edge. A tan frothy head died quickly to a scant cover and collar.

Flavor: Mild. Some of the roasted and chocolate malt comes through with a residual sweetness, but very balanced. Too balanced? It’s like flavors neutralize each other rather than compliment. There is a little licorice in the front and a mild cola flavor and a hint of hop (Fuggles?) in the finish. The 8% of alcohol is very well hidden, unfortunately, so is everything else.

Mouthfeel: Almost creamy texture, medium to heavy body with a slight chew, low carbonation, and slightly dry feel.

Overall Impression: It’s a fairly enjoyable beer, I just can’t seem to get any firm flavors out of it.

HardTarget, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of schusterbauer
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a nice stout in all categories, particularly in taste, in which the heavy roasted flavors of most stouts are turned down a bit, and replaced with some notable dark fruit flavors. a very nice interpretation of the style, hiding the 8% abv very nicely. warming and inviting; very nice for a winter evening.

schusterbauer, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of jim102864
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a stout and as black in appearance as any other. Poured from a bottle which perfectly fills my imperial pint glass. It has a modest head. Lace adorns the glass in a web like quilt pattern and fades away. Hints of licorice in the finish. Coffee, hazelnut, some fruitiness...like berries in the background as you drink further. Chewy, biscuity, viscous mouthfeel. Nice yet light carbonation. It's very difficult to detect much in the way of aroma. Again, hints of coffee but that's about it. I like the 8% abv...ballsy for a stout. You can drink more than a few in one sitting. Would love to get ahold of one on tap. Humorous name and description on the back of the bottle. Worth the price.

jim102864, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of jhu1995
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with a tan, fluffy head. Smelled of raisins, chocolate, and some fruitiness. Had some yeastiness, bread-like aromas. Thought it was lacking roasted aromas compared to other stouts. Taste was okay, mostly bitter chocolate with some mild sweetness. Medium-bodied. Easy to drink but doesn't really make me want to grab another. Not very interesting. The lack of roasted flavors is kind of a downer for me on this one.

jhu1995, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of mmcave
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this for a present from a friend, chilled and poured into a nonic. The head lingers about a centimeter above the surface its sort of a chocolate milk shake color and slight lacing. The body seems opaque with small hints of ruby. Smells of rum raisins, light chocolate, toasted malt, hints of vanilla, coffee and maybe a tinge of smokiness. Taste starts with a round dark malt and shapes into the chocolate character, which comes toward the end of the midsections. The hops only really manifest themselves in a mild bitterness that helps to balance the more robust character of this drink. Funny enough something about the flavor of this reminds me of drinking a coke soda. The mouthfeel on this is a bit on the lighter side rather clean and with a dry finish. Honestly this is not a bad beer, but it’s not that interesting. It has lots of elements that at first get you interested and then sort of don’t’ quite achieve what you'd hoped they would, yet sill worth a try.

mmcave, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of WetCoaster
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quite lovely jet black; to the light a deep clear mahogany with ruby highlights. Expresso crema head that cascades nicely as it rises. Extremely fine, lazy carbonation. No real lace, but good retention. Good lookin' stout.

Smell: Not a punisher by any means, but a subtle blend of chocolate, rum raisin and perhaps a slightly sharper cherry fruitiness. Hops try, but fail, to make some sort of statement.

Taste: Oooh, much better the second time around. Had this last night and was thoroughly unimpressed; this time, I'm digging it. Dark chocolate off the bat, velvety smooth, with a cherry brandy mild booziness midpalette. Roasty and bitter in the finish, but complements the other flavors quite well -- nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Smoove.

Drinkability: Great, although the alcohol is amazingly well concealed, so you may want to let your guests know what they're getting into. And at two-fitty at Cost Plus, I shall not complain.

What a difference a day makes. This is why you should taste twice, review once. I was ready to crucify this beer last night -- I HATED it -- but a fresher palette, an appropriate glass and a bit closer to room temperature, and presto -- coal turns to gold.

WetCoaster, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of briman
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with a deep ruby hue when held up to the light.
Quarter inch light brown head, average retention. Some lacing.

Aroma has some roasted malt, chocolate, and some light coffee.

Flavor starts out slightly sweet, with some roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a little bit more coffee flavor coming in towards the end but not much. Some dark fruits make an apperance in the aftertaste, with a slight hop bitterness.

Medium body, low carbonation. Balance seems reasonable. Alcohol is hidden well in the flavor & aroma. Warming effect does slowly work it's way into the picture. Could be better, could be worse...drinkable, but not terribly compelling.

briman, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown leather with a light sandpaper head. The raosm is of roast and slightly astringent cream. But no alcohol. This is the strongest English stout I've ever had. The flavos carries some good roasted mlats character, with hints of bananas and some creamed coffee from Speedway. The palate is very smooth and meidum. The alcohol is covered up very well.

scruffwhor, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served into a nonic glass from a brown bottle 1pt.9oz. with crimp-on cap.

Opque,black reddish hue in light, 1" tan head dissapated quickly into coating throughtout,a bit of spotty lacing down the glass.

Strong chocolate aromas,also carmell/toffee/roasty,complex malt aromas.a winey,fruity smell,hints of vanallia,Samuel Smith comes to mind in the aromas.

Very chocolaty tastes,also roasty.a sweet boozy taste,a bit winey.
Notes of vanallia,the finish is dry,tart,bitter,yet very clean. Not a bad taste, just a bit boring.

A medium mouthfeel,creamy,a tad sticky. Easy drinking, just wouldn't
drink more than a few. This beer just reminds more more of a porter than a stout. Not a bad beer nothing to get excited about though.

jcdiflorio, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of Byeast
4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured opaque black with some reddish brown hints on the edges , a creamy tan inch of head dissipated to a nice , lasting layer.

Smell: dark, roasty , and slightly sweet malt , some dairy , hint of chocolate syrup , very faint licorice.

Taste: Nice creamy body of roasted malt , bittersweet chocolate , slight dairy, coffee bean , some darker berry / fruity qualities , and pleasant hop bitterness keeps it all very well balanced in the finsh.

Mouthfeel: creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: A very nice stout. The only thing that makes it holiday like imo is the warming strenghth. Very pleasant roasty , chocolatey ,and sweet flavors that are kept in a great creamy balance.

Byeast, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of slyke
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lump of Coal is deep, dark red in color with a healthy off-white head. There is some lacing that occurs with the first few swallows. The smell is dominated by malt sweetness and dark fruit notes.

Taste consists of the dark fruit, some spiciness, ample malt and a quick, crisp finish. Mouthfeel is thinner than I expect for the style. Drinkability was decent, but one bottle was enough for me. I received this beer as a gift and will probably not seek it out. It is certainly drinkable, but there are a lot of other beers I'd rather have.

slyke, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with a small tan head. Not much read retention or lacing. It smells like bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit and roasted malt. It tastes the same way to me, but the beer has a bitter, dry finish. Mouthfeel is light/medium, it's closer to being watery than it is to being creamy. Drinkability is OK, it is smooth and easy to drink. Not a great beer, but it's drinkable. I'd have one of these again.

bluejacket74, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of shadow1961
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Ridgeway Brewing's Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout pours
out a tan head over black brew. Carbonation is sedate and the
nose is quite fruity and malty- in fact it smells a bit like a Belgian
Tripel. The flavor is of dark fruit, roasted malt, and touches of hop.
For a Stout, it's quite unassuming, and it's surprisingly smooth,
light, and drinkable. Aftertaste is muted- just the tiniest echo of
hop. Alcohol by volume 8%. This is not the brew for heavy-duty
stout fans- this might be just the kind of training wheels someone
unfamiliar with the style might find pleasant.

shadow1961, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of jimdkc
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Independence Hy-Vee Supermarket for $4.99 each along with Santa's Butt, Rudolph's Revenge, and Bad Elf. Who could resist? World Market was charging $5.99 each and didn't have Santa's Butt. Half liter (16.9 oz.) bottles.

Poured into my snifter dark, nearly black, brown.One finger of tan head quickly faded to a scant foam ring. Didn't leave any lacing.

Lightly fruity aroma. Maybe a bit of bittersweet chocolate.

Smoky, roasted malt flavor dominates. Slightly sweet. Chocolate. A hint of dark fruit. A litle bitterness on the finish.

Medium body... not thick, but not thin and watery either. Carbonation a bit high for a stout, but the bubbles are very fine.

A smooth drink which hides it's 8% alcohol well.

Based on the 2 I've tried so far, I can see purchasing this foursome (Lump of Coal, Bad Elf, Rudolph's Revenge, and Santa's Butt) again next year... and the year after... etc. These are fun, tasty holiday treats!

jimdkc, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lump of Coal appropriately enough pours a virtually black color with only a hint of ruby highlights on the edges and a thin tan head from a brown 500 ml bottle. The aroma is mild and malty. There are some nice chocolate notes in the flavor. This beer is kind of esthery, and the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Worth a try.

Drew966, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of SteveO1231
2.08/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Fat 1/2 liter brown bottle. Pours black with a nice tan head that settles to nothing after a few sips. No lacing. Aroma of pale, chocolate, caramel, rye, and roasted malts. There is fruity alcohol aroma that's a bit different. Full bodied, slick mouth feel. Honey sweetness up front, with a large fruit character that I can't quite put my finger on, almost like an cherries or something. Light roasted malt character behind the strange fruitiness. Finish is pretty bland, toasted dry aftertaste and that weird artificial sweetener taste is still hanging around. Perhaps this was a spoiled bottle but this one was way too sweet and fruity for my stout liking. I guess I really was bad.


SteveO1231, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it seems Ridgeway has put out another winner. I recalled liking their "Santa's Butt" very much, and when I saw this one I had to grab it (unlike Santa's real butt!).

It pours an almost-black mahogany body beneath a super frothy head of light tan foam. The retention s quite good, and it leaves some very nice, clingy lace in its wake.

The nose is limited, but there's a touch of dark caramel, a sublime fruitiness, and a very subtle roastiness to it; and it's remarkably clean beyond that.

In the mouth it's remarkably smooth, as any good English ale worth its weight should be, and it has a medium-light body, and a gentle, moderate carbonation.

The flavor expresses a well-melded combination of yeasty fruitiness (berries, cherry, apple) and softly sweet malt with a hint of darkness that suggests both chocolate and underlying roastiness. A cusp of polished firm bitterness keeps it in hand, and it finishes short and dry with just a flourish of yeasty fruitiness and a cusp of scorched dark caramel.

Not everything has to hit you over the head to be brilliant! Like so many other fine English ales, what this beer lacks in full-frontal assault of flavor, it more than makes up for in intrinsic value and balance. It's freakin' bloody drinkable, is what it is!!! The pleasant notes of sublime dark chocolate and yeasty fruitiness just keep popping their heads up here and there. A thread of roastiness runs through it, again and again, at its base. Darkly caramelized sugar throws its arms out to the world every now and again... yet it remains quite confident and concerned with itself - oh so British in nature!!!

For any fan of British ales, this is a must-try. For fans of porter or stout, don't miss this! And for your everyday average beer lovers in general, what a charm this is!

NeroFiddled, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of budgood1
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the half litre bottle a dark brown colour, not nearly opaque with mahogany tints. nice tan foamy head dies down to a thin layer of lace. understated hints of dark chocolate in the aroma, maybe some licorice and a sour note. taste is sweet blackened maltiness...dark chocolate, some burnt notes, and charred yeast covered sour cherries. some bitterness both from the ashen malts and above average hoppiness. no hint of the 8% alcohol. creamy smooth mouthfeel is held up by a body bordering on ample. quite quaffable...i could sip on this all night should the weather be disagreeable and the temperature cold.

this is a nice stout, holiday stout or whatever-style-of -stout it is. i'd revisit this one.

budgood1, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of HopDerek
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears as the same suggests, dark like coal, though light enough to see some dark red hues. Little head. Smells of smokey malt. Tastes of dark malts with some hoppy dryness. Not a watery beer, but not as creamy as many other stouts. Very drinkable, though kinda expensive. Worth grabbing a Christmas variety pack during the holidays though for a Lump of Coal.

HopDerek, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown, with a small tan head that quickly disappears.

Aroma is quite muted. All I can pick up is a hint of roasted malts and a hint of black licorice.

Flavor is pretty weak as well, bordering on bad. It has an aftertaste that is welcoming in the fact that some flavor can finally be registered, but disappointing that it's a bit bitter. After letting this beer warm up, it mellowed out to be much more quaffable. I can pick up some sweet raisins, some bitter chocolate, and some rough flavors like ashtrays.

Mouthful was much better after warming up. Very little carbonation, a little watery, and a very dry finish.

Not very drinkable. When cold, there was no flavor. Once it was warmed up, the flavors intensified, but so did the bitterness and dry finish. This beer is not worth $5. However, this beer was a little bit better than I was expecting, because I think this beer was created as a joke. And as a joke it works quite well. Know someone that likes beer, but you want to poke fun at? Lump of Coal: "Much More Than You Deserve for Xmas This Year". I got one for my father-in-law.

terrabyte, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of ReebShorts
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an orval chalice, dark brown, almost black. Had a slight head with a somewhat aggressive pour that faded away promptly.

Aroma of cherry, gingerbread, sweetened chocolate, malts.

Nothing too remarkable here. It's a smooth drinker, and there is nothing offensive about it, it's just mild and kind of boring and I was expecting more from this rather pricy holiday stout. Also, it seemed rather thin for the style, but that could be partly due to a lack of carbonation.

ReebShorts, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich, deep brownish-black color, with a finger high toffee colored-head. Smells of chocolate, a little coffee, roasted malts, and lots of molasses.

Taste sweet, but with a nice body of blended chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts – just like it smells.

Mouthfeel was full and smooth with a nice amount of carbonation, and not chalky or syrupy like some stouts I’ve sampled.

A nice, drinkable holiday stout.

TheLiterati, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one last night. Took it out of the fridge, I think it was too cold. The pour produced little head. Black as coal, though, in the body. Would have liked some head.
Smell perked up a bit after it warmed. Some roasted malt, raisin, black berries and chocolate.
Taste, more of chocolate and roasted malt. Some coffee tones come through, but not very strong. Sticky sweet, and the dry hops finish it off pretty well. It became a better brew once it warmed up. Easy drinking. Can use another one.

Mebuzzard, Dec 08, 2006
Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.