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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 JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
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
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
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 -12.2%
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
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
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 +0.9%
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 +15.9%
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
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
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 -2.9%
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
3.34/5  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
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
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
3.94/5  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
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
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
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
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
2.23/5  rDev -35.4%
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
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
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
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of jhu1995
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of mmcave
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of WetCoaster
4.21/5  rDev +22%
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.

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.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Byeast
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

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