Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

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529 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 529
Reviews: 340
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 6
Gots: 34 | 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: 529 | Reviews: 340 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rainintheface
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16.9oz bottle poured into SA glass.

A: black with minimal tan head that ends up thinly ringing the glass

S: chocolate and dark molasses also has hints of toffee

T: very similar to aroma but nothing stands out

M: rather thin and watery, sweet with some fizzy carbonation

D: I can drink it but.. bleh This is one lump of coal I didn't deserve

Photo of smcolw
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive three-finger head with some lasting time; great ring lace. Dark brown (as opposed to black) color--some light passes through.

Lots of yeast in the smell; very mild dark malt aroma; no hop.

First sip, I notice how thin this beer is for a stout. Strong alcoholic warmth. I'd describe it as a porter, but it doesn't have the chocolate notes. While it does have some of the black patent flavors, it isn't bitter enough

This is an easy to drink stout--perhaps a good introduction to the big boys.

Photo of bedford
2.48/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The first thing I noticed about this beer was the nonexistent head. I poured a second glass, and the same thing happened. Sometimes the head fades rapidly, but this one didn't even appear in the first place. This beer is very dark, even darker than most stouts. At first I thought this was a good thing. Some notes of spice are present, but there isn't really anything that stands out. Moreover, the flavor overall is too cloying and sweet, which makes it rather a chore to drink.

This is a very mediocre beer with good marketing behind it. There are far better holiday brews out there.

Photo of BeerManDan
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color a medium dark brown with some tan foam and there was lace on the side of my glass. There was a smell of sweet roasted malts and a hint of molassis was evident. The taste was more complex than the smell. Roasted malts, molassis, but then there was a hint of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Nicely put together, just a touch to bitter. I thought the flavor got even better as the stout warmed up. More flavor and less bitterness.

Photo of cswhitehorse
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The lump of coal was similar to its name. I was excited to buy it was good marketing that got me. It poured a dark amber no foam, no lacing, no head retention. I tasted toffee and chocolate and the smell was roasted. In the mouth is was pretty flat and had little carbonation. This was the first try with this style but it didn't do much for me.

Photo of Trueant1
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium light color for a stout. Brown. Has an incredible fluffy head.

Smells up front of spicy caberet wine, hops, molassis.boozey smell.

Taste is grainy and overly sweet. Not impressed by the taste.
warming alcohol that could be balanced much better than what it is now.

Moutfeel is sticky sweet. Somewhat wattery. Lots of carbonation.

Not my favorite stout. A decent one that has a cool name.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is lighter than what I expected for a stout - dark ruby-brown and almost opaque. Aroma is rich and smoky with coffee and molasses undertones. Flavor is not as strong as other stouts I have tried but still pleasing - smoky with coffee undertones and a hint of molasses. Finish is smooth and leaves a little bitterness, but the pleasant bitterness of hops. This is one lump of coal that you won't mind finding in your holiday stocking!

Photo of mattster
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold from 1pt 9oz bottle into pint glass. Nice creamy looking head low, holds at about 1/8 of an inch.

Smells of malts and maybe a hit of copper. Taste is nice, albeit light for a Stout, I think that this is a nice stout for people who normally find a stout a little stronger that what they would normally drink. It does have a nice chocolaty taste and nice creamy mouthfeel.

A little bitter aftertaste on the finish, but all in all a decent beer.

Photo of albern
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad holiday stout but there is some astringency that detracts from the overall quality. The beer is a deep mahogany, brown with a decent head, retention, and lacing. The smell is a bit tinny, some malts, but not all that distinct one way or another, although you'll get some cherry aromas as the beer settles. The beer is full bodied, moderately carbonated, with plenty of warming alcohol notes, which probably need to be hidden a bit more. The taste is strong, sweet, toasted malts, maybe some burnt charcoal-like flavors as well. There is the astringency which isn't all that pleasing, and the mouthfeel is rather buttery. The beer is not bad, certainly apropos for the cold nights of winter, but this isn't my favorite stout. The aftertaste is slightly metalic and there is a bit too much alcohol on the tail end for my liking.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Standard Ridgeway Xmas bottle for about $5.60 purchased at New Vintage in Meridian. Shared with fiancee, in red wine glasses, while chilling to Global House Culture #3.

I like the way this beer looks. Shiny clear deep deep deep brown with a nice 1/2" head that leaves only a little lacing.

smell is chocolate and low burnt grains balanced nicely by thick malts. maybe some hoppiness, but I could be mistaking it for the rest of the aroma.

Taste is nice. dark roast coffee and roasted barley... some vanilla and chocolate rounded out very nicely with just enough malt sweetness and lite hops. Maybe a little watery, but that could be the alcohol slickness. Am I detecting a "house" yeast flavor .... this is the 5th Ridgeway brew I've enjoyed and only the 2nd I've reviewed, but there seems to be some similarity that is popping up its head ... I swear I can taste a little butterscotch, but in this brew it works nicely.

So far, this Ridgeway brew is the redeeming one of the bunch. I will buy it again, probably before Christmas, and maybe even give some friends a Lump of Coal for the holiday.

Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black hue with a tan, bubbly, soapy, one-finger head. It left a little bit of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and toffee.

T - It tasted of mild maltiness. It also had a good dose of caramel flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a pretty descent stout. I really expected more, it just didn't overwhelm me with flavor.

Photo of Minkybut
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this disappointing beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was black and poured a big tan fine bubbly head. It was bready smelling and did not smell like a stout. Did not taste like one either. Acrid aftertaste mettalic and nothing but alcohol left on the palate. The beer did have good lacing for whatever good that does ya. Not very stoutish in my opinion I will not buy this expensive beer again.

Photo of BeerSox
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic

Deep black with ruby edges when help up to the light. A one finger light tan frothy head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving a little bit of lacing behind.

Roasty malt aromas mixed with a little bit of black coffee and sweet chocolate. Not much hop aroma.

Bitter malts with a powdery feel. The chocolate is repeated in the flavor. Full bodied with good carbonation. There is just enough hop flavor to balance things. The finish is mostly the lingering bitter malts.

This is certainly a stout for malt lovers. It focuses on the malts, but it's also somewhat complex, with chocolate tones mixed in with the bitter notes. Recommended.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has a medium carbonation, but a vigorous pour summons forth a fat-two-finger thick, frothy, light brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color, though when held up directly to the light it does show a brilliantly clear, burnt ruby color. Aromas of roasted grain up front, but quickly a rich, sweet, malt note becomes noticeable in the form of prunes, raisins and figs. Towards the finish some light toasted malt aromatics come into play. The aroma does not smell so much of roast malt as it does of deeply caramelized fruit.

This has a medium full heft to it, though I would say it might be a little on the light side. Definitely somewhat sweet, this accentuates some fruit notes as does a very light tartness. The fruit flavors are not nearly as concentrated and caramelized as the aroma would have suggested, but they also take on a roasted note to them. This tastes a bit like raisins, concentrated plums, hints of cherries and perhaps some dried figs that have been left a bit too long under the broiler. The roast / burnt flavors are a bit bolder than in the nose; flavors of coffee, lightly astringent burnt grain husks, some burnt acidity in the finish and a light burnt grain bitterness are all noticeable throughout the flavor profile of this beer. Towards the finish a deeply caramelized, rich malt flavor develops; it seems to be a cross between toffee, raisins and some rich, holiday, dark, sweet bread / cake.

I finally found an enjoyable brew in this lot of British holiday brews. The dominant flavors here definitely evoke thoughts of fruit; this is derived from the mix of tart notes, light sweetness, and & concentrated malt flavors). Perhaps not a great beer, but it is certainly a beer that is an enjoyable sipper for this particular evening. I could ask for a touch more richness of flavor and body though.

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance a deep brown to almost black with ruby highlights around the edges, the head about an inch or so, creamy light brown, after its rather quick demise the lacing covers the glass. Nose has a nice roasted grain aroma, sweet with hints of chocolate and coffee, pleasantly spicy. Start has a rich malt sweetness, and the taste of burnt toast quite evident, top is medium to full in feel. Finish has a pleasantly mild acidity, the hops personable, sweet burnt toast aftertaste clings to the palate, a nice stout, and one that suits the style in my humble opinion.

Photo of BDTyre
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, near black colour with slight purplish hints. Thin, khaki head that leaves a weak lacing on the glass.

Raisin, plum and sugar scent. Sweet, raisiny, yeasty malt taste. Sort of a more sour standard stout.

Alright mouthfeel. Stout thickness, but a bit on the weak side of that. Slight wateryness to it.

A decent stout...a bit on the sweet-sour side. Very low carbonation...a little flat, but not so much so that it ruins this beer.

Decent stout, but not anything spectacular, or even particularly holiday like about this.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep eggplant almost black until exposed to the light which revelas wisps of color. Head cap of dirty muddy dense bubbles that vanish to nothing leaving no trace.

Nose caramely toasted malts, which leave me wanting a bolder scent of roasted coffee that I am not getting.

First swigs: A tad easy overall with a cola or rootbeer start. Light nutty almond meets lightly roasted malt. Honeyish and red grape middle then a tongue tacky linger of anise and rootbeer.

Last swigs: More of a cola stout than anything else. Nothing off just nothing too much more than a semingly diluted brew. 8% was a surprise!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of roblowther
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours, you guessed it, coal-black with a minimal medium-colored tan head. The smell is roasted caramel and plums. Seems appropriately Christmas-y. The taste is surprisingly dry, with roasted coffee and nuts dominating. The aftertaste is like you just had a pint of espresso. All coffee all day. The mouthfeel is silky & surprisingly thinner than I would expect for a stout. Closer to a porter, really! The drinkability is good, although the dry finish limits it. If you like Imperial stouts or Milk stouts, this one is not a bad one to try. Probably best to just let one of your "I know he likes beer, so..." relatives give this to you in the gift pack, though. I wouldn't necessarily seek it out on its own merits.

Photo of arizcards
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received a couple of bottles at Christmastime. This is the 2nd go around.

Beer poured black with ruby undertones when held up to daylight. Tan head never really developed. Nose is of sweet malts and a hint of coffee. Taste is of toasted chocolate malts, with a hint of coffee balanced by a dry bittering hop. Mouthfeel is thin for the style and lacks the creamy quality that are in most high abv stouts. Drinkability is OK. The beer has mellowed a bit over the last three plus months. The first time I had this the alcohol was very up front with each sip. This is worthy of a shot.

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Well, beside the lack of head I noticed that it's really not all that dark. I mean, yeah, it's dark, but not like a lump of coal. It said "Dark Holiday Stout" on the label too. It looks nice, just not super dark.

Smell - This English Stout has a nice, light burnt malt aroma with some notes of yeast and nuts. I hate to say chestnuts because it sounds so cheesy (holiday beer and all) but that's kind of what I'm getting.

Taste - This has a sharp burnt malt flavor to it that really lingers beautifully on the palate. There are some sugars at the taste that I didn't catch at the nose, but they are relatively subdued.

Mouthfeel - This just does meet my definition of medium-bodied. It lacks that nasty citrus tang that I've found in some cheap examples of the style. The blackened malts offer some bitterness at the finish.

Drinkability - The slight dryness at the end makes you want to drink more of it, but the flavors are sharp enough to keep one sipping. Nothing out of this world but nicely done just the same.

Update - I re-tried this holiday beer the day before Thanksgiving 2009 and it's just as I remembered it from my notes. I got a little better aroma from the glass this time around so upped my Smell rating half a point but otherwise this was right on.

Photo of Zorro
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A clear dark brown colored beer with ruby highlights when held up too a strong light. Not much head formation.

The scent is sweet and a little fruity with a little chocolate and coffee in it.

The taste begins flat. Decent herbal hops and a little malt flavor but there really isn't much taste here either good or bad.

Mouthfeel is blah.

Drinkable as in yes you can drink it but with as little flavor as this has why would I ever pick this over a regular Guinness? Unremarkable in all respects.

Photo of DogFood11
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz brown bottle. Poured contents into a chalice. Dark brown body with a loose head that fades to an outer ring.

This is a rather thin brew for a stout. The beginning and the end are without a doubt thin for the style. The middle has a nice mix of spices and malt but its a quick flash and more of an afterthought. Pepper flash and a sweet bakers chocolate middle are the highlight if you can call it that. If i dig deep enough there are coffee bean undertones. Worthy of a try but not worthy of repeat purchases.

Notes: Ridgeway has a nice marketing theme in that their beers have "cool" names and their packaging is inviting but the brews overall fall short. This is not an exception.

Black body with some ruby red highlights. Some spotty lace on the surface of the beer. Licorice in the nose. Tasty beer but not really stout like. Good malts, but not much bitterness. A little thin in the mouth for the style I think, and in many ways this isn't really very "stout like". Quite sweet with a little alcohol in the background of the finish.

Photo of BWH3
2.2/5  rDev -36.4%
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.

Photo of udubdawg
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev +4%
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.

Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.