Lump Of Coal | Ridgeway Brewing

366 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ybnorml on 11-25-2004

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 613
Photo of bbtkd
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ridgeway Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout, 8% ABV, 33 IBU. Pours medium viscosity and black, with a one finger off-white head, leaves decent lacing. Nose is slightly sweet, and malty. Tastes excellent, low bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel and overall excellent. Doesn't jump out with a lot of flavor, but I'm liking it.

 322 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: [4.00] The bottle lists the ABV (8.0%) and the born date (08/17/2016). The beer looks black but is a dark ruby red when held to the light. It has 1 finger of tan head with creamy but irregular bubbles.

S: [3.25] Dates, figs, booze, charred wood. The booze is definitely present.

T: [2.75] Bitter chalky chocolate, floral flavors, something a little "off" also (I can't put my finger on it). Finishes with charred wood and marshmallow. Despite the booze on the nose there is no booze in the taste.

M: [3.00] For 8% it is a bit thin - accentuated by low carbonation. So it drinks really easily. I expected more heft and chew.

O: [3.00] The flavor is "off" in some way. For 8% it seems like it should have more depth and body. It drinks easily because of the thin body but I want it slowly becaose of the off flavors. It is 5 months old at this point but I am not sure that is responsible for any of my observations.

 930 characters

Photo of blackcompg
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - pours 2 fingers of medium khaki foam, body is translucent deep garnet to mahogany with steady carb rising through the center, leaves pretty nice laced rings after each quaff

Smell - nice nose of dark fruits, raisin, hints of black cherry, dark chocolate, and roasted malts

Taste - just like the nose, opens with dark fruits and dark chocolate, bit of raisin and fit, quickly transitions to unsweetened dark chocolate and roasted malt, finish is drying char and bitter dried roasted cherry pits - or maybe this is what coal tasted like..

Mouthfeel - lighter side of medium, slight creaminess, carb is on the lower side, dryness/roastiness intensifies after each quaff

Overall - this evidently gets its name from the taste vs the appearance. Not a bad stout, but is on the thin side and doesn't seem like 8% abv in a not so good way. This was a gift and loved the name and the thought, but the bitterness becomes strong towards the finish. I'd drink another if it was given as a gift, but I won't seek this one out myself.

 1,037 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Roasted dark malts, earth, cocoa, and some coffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with roast and chocolately notes.

 193 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
2.29/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Reddish brown in color. Tinge of red towards the top where the light penetrates. This is the Christmas equivalent of getting coal in your stocking as a kid. It's bland and virtually flavorless. Sweet, dry malt. Ho ho ho, Awful.

 228 characters

Photo of vladdswrath
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Looks dark brown, not nearly as black as the label sold it to be. Head is small and beige in color, with slight lacing. Smell is mostly malt and prunes. Taste follows suit, but with a mild burnt coffee and alcohol aftertaste. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, as expected in a stout. Not bad at all, but nothing really special either.

 330 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a funky Buddha snifter.

Soapy,light khaki colored,1finger head.Black / brown in color,with limited light showing through the glass.Light carbonation.

On the nose I don't get much but dark fruits,mostly prune.I get hints of dark roasted malts,but not much.

The palate follows the nose...dark fruits and dark malts.

The body is medium thin.

This isn't a terrible stout,but it isn't a great one either...a proverbial "Lump of Coal".

 460 characters

Photo of jp32
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Dark in color, but pours thin and mostly transparent into the glass. A decent-sized cream-colored head sits on top but fades relatively quickly. Aroma of roasted malts with some sugary fruits in the background. The body is thin, but nicely carbonated. I wouldn't call it watery, but I am definitely calling it thin. These euro stouts just never seem to man up to american made stouts in terms of body and depth. It's flavor is obviously malt-forward (as it should be) and is slightly sweet up front before giving way to a more charred, burnt, tart, finish. It's not a bad tasting beer, so I shouldn't be describing it as such, but it's just not very exciting and seems lacking in a few areas.

 700 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My bro-in-law bought this beer from the beer store just around the corner. It poured an opaque dark with ecru head that is not leaving much lace. The scent had hints of roast and bitter hop. The taste has hints of mocha. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's decent and worth a try.

 316 characters

Photo of wattoclone
4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from local Wegman's. A little pricey for a 16.9 ounce bottle but it is imported from UK. This is not a beer for the casual stout lover. It is unusual with a strong burnt wood flavor which imparts a lasting finish. Since I grew up in a working family, I ate a lot of burnt food and grew to like it. My wife likes her marshmallows lightly toasted, but I prefer them burning like a fireball until black and hard. Thus, for me this is an excellent version of a holiday stout. There are other flavors in there including sweet dark fruits, but the carbonized wood is the main feature.

 585 characters

Photo of HenryPorter7777
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark Stout English Ale @ 8% ABV. Advertises a sweetness to balance the malts, but is missing. Basically, forgetful in every aspect. Doesn't taste "bad", just lacking in being exceptional in any way.

 198 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Has plenty of brown to it, moreso than black, some ruby of a darker variety going there. Thin oily tan head. Aroma was roasty and bitter.

Nuts and toffee, chocolate malt, dark fruit bitterness, plenty of alcohol heat. Price is decent, torn on the format, I would never want more than 12oz of this at a time, but the 17oz format is pricier than need be even if below average price wise for that format.

 405 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep burnt red color, reminds me more of a barley wine, a dark red wine, or even an imperial red; that does not quite fit a stout profile for me. Deeper roasted malts in the aroma and taste with a bit of alcohol and fermented red grapes as well. This beer isn't bad, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't seem to be a stout worthy in appearance and seems to miss it slightly as well in the taste.

 396 characters

Photo of BeerBobber
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one poured a very nice and dark almost black color. Almost, because when held up to direct light some ruby does come through. There was a very nice brown 1 to 1 and a half finger of brown rocky head on this one. And this one also left a very nice lacing down the glass as the brew went down.

The smell was dark roasted barley and malts with some very dark fruit smells coming through, something like cherries or figs.

The taste at first hits with a strong taste of black roasted coffee. This is quickly followed by the roasted barley and malts and some sweet coming through. As this one warmed the taste of a strong boozy note was coming through.

This had a medium mouthfeel with a wet finish.

On to the overall and my final impression! As a sipper this bottle does contain 1 pt. 9 fl. oz. and it will begin to warm as you work towards a finish. With that warming comes more and more of a strong booze presence. This felt unusual to me as this was only rated at an 8% ABV. I do have two cellared (1 for me and 1 for the wife) and look forward to revisiting this one sometime around Christmas (this was written in January) to see if it matures well.

 1,158 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle. Pours ruby brown with a medium frothy light tan head that goes to a thin film and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted oaty chocolate and caramel.

The flavor is sweet sugary dark fruits, roasted grainy chocolate malts with some black licorice and ashy bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and a bit watery.

Overall, it's overly sweet, grainy and ashy.

 419 characters

Photo of timmy2b
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark Black with a small clowdy white head. Scent has a little bit of Cherry. Taste is very dry and lacking the chocolate that I was promised by the label. Tasting a little bit of alcohol which was unexpected for the ABV. Overall this was a weak attempt.

 257 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from Boise Co-op. smoky and chocolate, nice combo. Dry finish, taste of dark malt, dark chocolate, ash. Black with creamy head. Sharp, short and dry on the palate.

 170 characters

Photo of SheaDawg
4.54/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Wow! I really don't understand all of the reviews reflecting a "mediocre" beer. Pours very dark with very little head. The taste is subtle in respect to a stout. Easy on the palate. Very light. Very light hint of cocoa. Smooth and easy beer. If people are of the opinion that it has to have a SUPER COMPLEX taste to be a great beer, then they have forgotten what beer should be. This is a great beer!! Pure and simple excellent stout!

 443 characters

Photo of ThaneMcC
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

An odd beer - almost a novelty with its odd flavor profile.

Pours a deep reddish black with off white foamy head. Smells strongly of cherry cough medicine, cocoa, coffee, molasses. Tastes sweet malts forward, strong cherry medicinal flavor. Texture is less than medium - far thinner than your typical stout.
Overall, overly sweet and medicinal - tastes a lot like someone took a stout and then threw in equal part of cherry Robitussin - really not a beer I would buy again

 474 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 7/27/17.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa powder, toffee, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, earth, and roasted nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of roast and cocoa qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 669 characters

Photo of teromous
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bottle is labeled with F 17 246

Appearance: The body is very transparent but dark brown. I can see fairly well through it so it's not completely opaque. The head is darker than off-white...more of a very light tan. Very good retention and lacing. The head is creamy.

Aroma: There is a very sweet caramel and strong buttery aroma with a toasted note mingling in there.

Taste: Fairly strong carbon flavor from the roasted grains with a touch of caramel and a bit of butter and alcohol coming through.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Very very slick and smooth. There is a light bite of roasted bitterness at the end.

Overall: It doesn't look, smell, or taste much like a stout aside from that carbon roasted bitterness. It's interesting but it's not a beer I would repeat. If you are a fan of the diacetyl laden English ales you will be at home with this beer. Otherwise I would say to stay away from it. It is a drinkable and enjoyable beer but that buttery aroma and flavor reduce drinkability a bit.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Bluegrass49
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a moderate foamy 1" head and decent lacing. Has a very distinct fruity and chocolatey taste. Not bad, but not one of my favorites.

 156 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours bright, dense dark brown to black under a clingy 3” tan foam collar with a fine bead. S: Malty, light roast, dark dried fruit. T: Lightly sweet, dark dried fruit, hints of chocolate. Nothing burnt or harsh. F: Full bodied, very soft on the palate. O: An inoffensive, easy to drink sweet stout.

 304 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a creamy off-white head that dissipate moderately but leaves a significant film of foam on the beer and around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear dark brown color that isn't as dark as a lump of coal.

The beer smell is pretty good. The beer has roasted notes and dark fruit notes with a bit of hops to it. The beer has a nice roasted malt note that is balanced out by a caramel and slightly sweet note. However, the smell doesn't seem to be as rich and deep as it could be.

The beer taste has the same roasted notes and caramel notes like the smell but with different degrees. The roasted malts are a bit stronger and the caramel is a bit weaker. The overall taste is more on the too watery coffee side with a caramel note that needs to be stronger. However, it is still pretty good and the notes do balance each other out.

The mouthfeel is a bit heavy but also light at the same time. The beer is medium bodied with biting carbonation but feels a bit lighter than it should be. However, it is still pretty good.

Overall, the beer is a decent export stout and very good novelty gift for the Beer Geek in your life. Even if it isn't a gift, the beer is still overall pretty decent and drinkable. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this every holiday.

 1,294 characters

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

Ridgeway Lump of Coal has a thick, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (ruby red brown, under light) appearance, and substantial lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet cream, bread crust, and malt. Taste is of sweetness, cream, dark roasted, and almost burnt, malt, char, and acidic bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and Ridgeway Lump of Coal finishes semi-dry and boozy in the head. You will feel this one.


 418 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 613 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.