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Lump Of Coal - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

346 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 558
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 18.84%
Wants: 8
Gots: 46 | 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.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 558
Photo of grittybrews
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep blackish-brown with a thin film of light khaki head. Aroma of roasty coffee and licorice with hints of chocolate.

Moderate carbonation and a no-nonsense mouthfeel. Was expecting more coffee bitterness but the flavor of sweet chocolate dominated with notes of coffee, light molasses, and a touch of licorice. Just a little roasty bitterness on the tail end.

This one was pretty tasty and drank easy for the 8 percent. Worth trying once.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had my Lump of Coal in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The khaki colored head is very filmy, not much substance to it, barely enough to cover the lid.

The body is almost black with slight, mocha highlights in the bottom of the glass.

Smell- I liked the bread malt scent I got at first, then I remembered this is supposed to be a stout, not a brown or a winter warmer. There is also a little herbal spiciness and earthy quality.

Taste- A slight toasted malt presence is at the front of the drink. There is a bunch of hops, and grainy flavors in the middle of the drink and into the finish.

Again, I do not think you can really call this a stout. There is no roasted malt, and no dark fruit quality. There is some general sweet maltiness and then grassy hops.

Mouth feel- This is pretty creamy and has okay mouth coating. Unfortunately, it is leaving behind a long, alcohol-estery flavor and hop bitterness.

Overall- I really did get a lump of coal for Christmas with this beer. It has almost no characteristics of a stout.

Maybe if you count the sweet malt and general grassy hops that are overdone. Blegh.

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Photo of Suds
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I honestly didn't expect much from this beer. What a pleasant surprise. It's a deep, thick, dark, high viscosity brew. Jet black with a light tan head. The smell is intense...coffee, dark chocolate, and licorice. Dark fruits (cherry?), and a bit of smoke and charcoal. The taste is sweeter than anticipated...rich, luxurious, and balanced with a no-nonsense bitterness. Fruit, roast, and lots of grain in the flavor. The body is substantial: filling is an understatement. Mmmm...Christmas!

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 500ml bottle into tulip glass

A-nice dark sienna with some ruby edging about a 2 finger head that faded without much lacing

S-a little chocolate and coffee followed with a little hop spice

T-much like the smell only lighter, with the smell I thought there might be some flavor here but it was really light tasting

M-light body for stout a little watery tasting

O-not bad but for the price there are a lot of better examples

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Photo of fx20736
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25oz bottle into a Nonic, served at cellar temp.

Bituminous black with 2 fingers of khaki head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is faint but I pick up gently roasted (not burned) malt with some spicy, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is frothy and light.

Taste: nice mix of coffee, some cocoa, some malted milk balls and cordial cherries withon a bed of roasted malt.

Notes: A nice sweet stout

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Photo of match1112
3.01/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours black as nite with reddish brown highlights. a half finger of tan head quickly and loudly, like fizz in soda, settled to a spotty froth on top. the nose is very weak for a stout. not getting any roast or chocolate or hops, just beer. taste is slightly bettter with a little chocolate flavor, but very weak and disappointing. mouthfeel is o.k. at first, goes down smooth, but then leaves a bad aspirin bitter flavor behind that lingers for ever. at seven dollars a pint and the muted flavors i would not recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This better be good as I paid $6.99 for a 1pt 9oz bottle at Total Wine. The marketing sucked me in. What stout lover can resist a lump of coal at the holidays?

It poured black at the core, progressing to the darkest brown on the edges. The light beige head was nearly non-existent and what little there was withdrew to a think blanket immediately with a bit of stickiness at the rim.

Classic stout aromas of chocolate, roasted malts, hops mingling around, toffee maybe.

1st impression - not as huge as I thought it may be. But then again, this is not an imperial stout and it tips in at 8%ABV which should advise this is not going to be huge.

2nd impression - Nice roast flavors, a bit of cocoa, with a nice blend of sweetness and hop bite with neither one overpowering.

Pleasant mouthfeel with the alcohol well hidden and a moderate and lingering finish.

What I like about this is that it is not a huge imperial. I can get good stout flavors without the high intensity of an imperial. The lower alcohol is nice as well. I love imperials but when I'm about to pop a 500-650ml 10%ABV+ imperial I'm making a real commitment. I can pop this, enjoy and still be good to go.

Big downside is price. I'd pay 10-12 bucks for a six pack of 12oz bottles but at $6.99 for a single bottle, I probably won't buy again just because of economics - but it was good and worth a try.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark ruby red-brown.
A short lived bubbly head and some small lacing.

The nose hits me with hops and some caramel and toasted malt and some hints of licorice. But the sensation is diminutive.

Flavor is rather a petite stout- maybe I'm not considering the "English Ale" moniker. Maybe I'm used to being pounded by dark odoriferous ales with muscular flavors. This is not one.

It is an enjoyable beer-- but in the end not one that I'd reach for instead of an imperial stout. Maybe it's because I saw "Lump of Coal" or maybe I saw "Dark Holiday Stout"..

Mouthfeel is cordial- nothing overwhelming, nothing to spark the memory while browsing at the packie..

Overall-- OK.. there's many that are less satisfying but many that are more such..

It was an enjoyable beer.. but I'm not going to walk a quarter mile for it.

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

From the bottle marked F13-245. Sampled on December 13, 2011. The pour is mainly dark brown with ruby red hues glistening around the edges when held to the light. The head is minimal. On the nose there are a variety of scents including sweet malts, cherry, and later spent coffee grinds. The body texture falls into the thin to medium range. The taste is a little more mellow with the same mixture of malts, cherry, and coffee grinds with the slightest hint of clean, crisp hops at the finish.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this 500ml. One of the many random, slightly gimmicky Christmas beers by this brewery.

Very dark brownish-red, no translucence but some orange highlights. Light beige head starts big, retains decently.

Faint, mostly uninteresting scent, tart/dark fruit and dark malt.

Lots of fruit in the taste, raisin and plum, molasses. Yeast, dark bread, light tartness. Some cocoa in the finish.

Low on the carbonation but an okay mouthfeel. No booze taste.

Not much stout, it's okay, nothing about makes it me want to re-visit though.

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Photo of bark
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010.

The colour is black; the finger thick head is golden brown. Some lacing occurs.

The smell got notes of sweet red berries, some bitter notes, liquorice and raspberries.

The smell is semi-sweet with lots of red berries, some burnt flavours that makes me think of burned pop corns. Salt liquorice and raspberry candy. The aftertaste is on the lighter side with more red berries, some black German rye bread and a growing fruity bitterness. Matured strong wine in the finish.

The carbonation is fresh, the small bubbles medium strong. He liquid is light.

I had no idea that this beer vas that strong (8 %), I had guessed 5 % or so. A fine English stout that sadly was served way too cold.

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Photo of kjlued
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When Poured this beer, I was at first a little disappointed.
Although it was fairly dark, it just was not as thick as I would expect it to be.

However, I bought it and now I had to drink it.
At first taste I could feel the ends of my mouth curling up towards a smile. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Even though the look is not stout, the taste most certainly is. Good beer and worth drinking.

So if you have been naughty this year put this on your shopping list cause Santa already has a different lump of coal waiting for you.

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Photo of Casey10
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one last year never tired it saw it again it was okay. Kind of surprised a higher abv stout would be this thin. Had some nice qualities tasted okay but nothing that made me want to have another. It poured dark but again not so much their for taste some malts but again thin.

Glad I tried it always nice to have something different not sure if I would have again.

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Photo of ckollias
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 1 pint 9 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark blackish-brown with a thin tan ½-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Malty licorice aroma. Hints of coffee and roasted malts.

T: Dark rich ale with a generous sweetness and slight roasted malt bitterness. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Slightly hoppy and smooth.

M: Thin body and minimal carbonation

O: Decent export stout – easily drinkable –just not enough body to make it excellent.

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

A - 1 finger head which quickly dissipates, black in color

S - caramel, molasses, little bit of coffee towards the end

T -sweet, roasty, mild alcohol

M - smooth, low carbonation

O - not bad, I plan to cellar one and try it again in a year, there are others I prefer for this category

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Photo of TheBeerCarl
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a deep dark amber with a thin light brown head. The head is light in body and dissipates quickly.

Smell: malt and molasses are two most prevalent notes with hints of cinnamon, clove and rock candy.

Taste: Burnt sugar is the first flavor that comes to mind. There are subtle flavors of molasses, malt, coffee, clove and licorice. It also tastes like there is a lot of residual sugar and has more Belgium tripel characteristics than it does stout.

Mouthfeel: It has a very sharp bite to it from the excessive amount of carbonation and that bite lingers for a while.

Overall: I was not really a impressed with this beer as I was expecting a nice stout with maybe some holiday flavors. Instead I got a really sweet beer with mostly odd flavors.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle. Erin bought it for me at World Market in Richmond.

Appearance: Looks pretty light as it pours, but pretty dark as it sit in the glass. Dark red highlights when held to the light, and a fair amount of them. Off white head. Very, very thick and sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet and lightly roasty. Just a bit of chocolate. A slight lactic sourness-- very slight, as is the rest of the beer's aroma.

Taste: Much better than the smell. Still lots of malty sweetness and some roasted malt. Just a touch of that English stout sourness. Although its pretty sweet thoughout, the finish becomes a little bitter with roast. Its pretty tasty really.

Mouthfeel: This is a smooth and soft beer that is creamy with a very slight stickiness. Good.

Overall: Seems like bottled English beer doesn't always deliver, but I like this one pretty well.

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Photo of thadbme
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lump of Coal

A: Black like coal... pours with a little bit less than half of a finger of head, some cream remains on the top. Absolutely not transparent.

S: Toasted malts and a licorice smell that is common in these dark stouts.

T: A bit creamier than I would have expected for a stout, rather smooth and easy to drink. Its sweeter than I would have expected, not bitter.

M: Medium body, but goes down easily.

O: Not a bad brew to pick up and try. Not something I'd really remember or recommend to others as a standout in the stouts though.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: Bottle poured in to taster glass

A: SRM is dark brown, but appears thin for an Foreign Export. Head was tan, 1/2 in., dissapates to barely rim the glass. Medium carbonation. Light/no lacing.

S: Charcoal and light whaf of deep roasted malts.

T: Roasted malt and charcoal come through on initial palate and aftertaste, but are rather subtle.

M: Charcoal gives a burnt/ash sensation, but not very heavy. Light body.

O: Not bad, but would not buy this again at the price. This beer would rock some socks off if it was more ingredient heavy. Mosdef not a consolation for being a bad boy, but not a punishment either; good thing I was good this year. I did like the charcoal notes, but they were very subtle.

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Photo of riored4v
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/30/11

Poured in to a pint. Dark brown with hints of ruby. Almost pitch black. 2 finger, dense head.

Aroma had some slight alcohol heat. Some roast and slight yeasty presence. Mild caramel. Light sweetness.

Taste had some light chocolate and molasses. Some tangy notes.. possibly a sour mash? Light earty hop character. Almost like a "big" guiness.

Mouthfeel was silky. Low carb, medium body. Nice finish.

Overall it was decent. Interesting flavors and moderate drinkability.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep reddish brown color with a nice head. Pretty fizzy cream colored head pops up. Head is gone pretty quick and leaves some faint spotty lacing.

S- Smells of coffee, molasses, light roasted malts and a bit of alcohol here.

T- Quite bit of tea like taste, Earthy, a bit of burnt notes, molasses, licorice, and booze.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation was solid.

O- This one was much better than I expected.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with some off-white bubbles but not real head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt with some anise notes mixed in. The flavor is almost identical. The chocolate and roasted malt are what really stands out, but the licorice/anise notes are in the flavor as well. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not great, but one of the better Ridgeway beers I have tried.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.32/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of this on a close out deal. Figuring it is a strong stout, a little aging should be good for it. That seems to bear out in the tasting. It is a well behaved stong stout. A bit sweet and nicely balanced. The malt and hops nicely cover the alcohol (completely).

It has a very smooth, civilized taste. It works very nicely not too cold. I probably would never buy it again since the single bottle was a bit pricey, even with a buck or two off.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout poured out as a dark brown color. The beer is almost translucent despite the color. The head is thin and tan colored. Not much lacing. The smell is a bit roasted and has some earthy aromas too. The taste of the beer is light and creamy. The flavors don't really have a bitterness of coffee or dark burnt toast. It's one of the smoothest tasting stouts ive had in a while. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side and not really complex at all. Overall it's an easy going stout.

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Photo of biglite351
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - light through center of glass. Tall creamy light tan head.

S - very mild malts with prune finish.

T - mild roasted malts with chocolate and dried fruit with a touch of smoke in the finish.

M - very light coating with no real tingle.

O - relatively boring. Would sooner pick many other brews before this one.

 315 characters

Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.