Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout | Ridgeway Brewing

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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday StoutLump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout

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

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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 367
Photo of spartanfan
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with a small off white head that doesn't leave hardly any lacing behind.

S: Smell is of light roasted malts along with a bit of alcohol. Some sweet almost marshmallow like odors as well.

T: Sweet and roasted malts dominate the flavors of this beer. There is a slight taste of warming alcohol with each swallow.

M: Medium to thin in body, which is surprising considering the 8% ABV. More carbonation than I was expecting, but it's not off putting.

D: There's not that much to this one, which aids in the drinkability. It's not a bad beer, it's just not very complex of flavorful. Nothing real special about this one, other than the name and label.

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Photo of imaguitargod
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into my Nonic pint glass (gave it a rough pour) and got a cream colored head which didn't linger all that long and left some lacing. For a stout, this is a little too transparent for my tastes. With the name "Lump of Coal" you'd expect it to be pitch black but instead it is a transparent, blood red color when held up to the light. Sweet, stout like taste, no hops, slightly roasty but VERY thin. In fact, too thin to be classified as a stout, it's more like a sweet Red Ale. Drinkable, but not at all what it should be.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of crossovert
3.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish/brown with a moderate tan colored head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is laking, nothing really there, maybe some sweet dark malt.

Taste is better, but the mouthfeel is watery, this tastes like a boosted up Guiness, not what I would expect from craft.

Overall a forgettable holiday stout with no holiday character.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer is a dark brown, not black, with some red in the light. The head rises weakly about a finger of medium tan head that has decent retention and weak lacing.

The aroma is way way to light for a stout. There is very small amount of dark candi but that's it.

The taste actually has some flavor, much more than I was expecting. There is some light roasty coffee, no clue where that came from. However, its pretty muted, like most English beers then finishes with a light bitterness.

The feel is too watery for a stout.

Overall, nothing special your typical English stout lacking assertivness, flavor and direction.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - mahogany topped with thick cream. While the head is nice & dense, the brew looks a little thin for a stout and lets a fair bit of light pass thru.

S - caramel, toffee. good strong holiday flavors but little else, and not quite the charred sensation you might expect from "coal."

T - rounds out nicely thanks to ample bittering to complement the otherwise sweet malts. the booze comes through more than in stouts from brewers who specialize in big dark ales -- but in a holiday export special, I consider it welcome

M - quite rich and full considering the somewhat light appearance. average coating, not very oily, but what does remain with you is pleasant & rich. also retains more carbonation than most.

D - while it's not quite what you'd expect from the label, the overall profile is enjoyable and easy to drink. their presentation of 8% ABV is not terribly subtle, but on a day like today (>12" of snow) you wouldn't want it to be.

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Photo of nickd717
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer Store in SF for $6.

Pours dark brown with a one-finger beige head.

Aroma is caramel, spice, chocolate, and mild roast.

Flavor is pretty nice with caramel malt, toffee, a little milk chocolate, cola, roasted malt, and some holiday spices.

Medium body with a fairly smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

High drinkability. Good stuff overall, a bit underrated.

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

50cl bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Looked a little thin on the pour, nice even dark reddish brown, good clarity when held to the light, small tan head of large and small bubbles interspersed, resolves quickly into just a couple bubbles on surface and a ring around the edge of the glass. LEaves medium amount of lacing which raised the score for me to slightly above average.

S = Small hints of treacle and molasses but both of these are very light, also some tart fruit juice or at least maybe some dried lemon and orange peel, light butterscotch, light dried grass, also some hint of spices but I cannot quite place it, almost like cardamon of something. Interesting but very understated.

T = Some light butterscotch, lightly burnt toast with the bitterness that brings, still a lot of balance, not really sweet or bitter, sweeter than not I guess but still enough hops in there to even the score.

M = Medium body, this is heavier bodied than I expected given the look on the pour and the lightness of the smell, decent mouthcoating, fine level of carbonation which is very steady and maybe bites just slightly too much but not bad.

D = This is actually a pretty pleasant drinking beer for the ABV.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone imperial pint. Not really dark enough to call itself a stout, IMO, it's rather a dark ruby red. Thin head with very fine bubbles.

Aroma is of milk chocolate, fudge. Smells milky, like malted milk balls. Not bad at all.

Taste-wise, it's nothing you've never had before. Chocolate, raisin, with just a little char. Slight earthy hop bitterness throughout. The 8% ABV is pretty well hidden, I might have pegged it for 6%. Not groundbreaking, but it's tasty.

Feel is somewhat creamy, but I feel it could be a little more lush.

At this strength, drinkability is well above average. Very nearly comes off as session-able in that it's a tasty beer yet not too harsh, nor does it force you to think too hard while drinking it. Of course, the 8% will claim you if you try, but it feels like something you could drink a lot of without much of a problem. Seems to me a little underrated at B-....hardly a bad beer.

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Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear dark brown color with lighter brown highlights and a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of watered-down roasted malt with light amounts of cocoa powder and nondescript fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The roasted malt flavors are a bit more robust than the smell intimates and kick things off. Cocoa powder flavors join in midway through the sip along with a light fruitiness reminescent of certain Irish Dry Stouts. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this wasn't a bad stout however the flavors really didn't make any kind of impact, rather they were just there. Not one to avoid but not one to seek out.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

PArt of my holiday finds. Opened this on the first snowfall of '09...

A: Translucent dark stout. Very little white laced head that fades quickly. Not too impressed with the look of this one.

S: No matter how hard I sniff or how I hard I try to shake the brew, it does not unlock any scents.

T: Not horrible, but nothing new or impressive. Very light almost like drinking water. Mediocre.

M: A little too much carbonation for my taste. Kind of like tonic water.

D: Nothing makes this brew special. Goes down easy for the wrong reasons. Too light to be called a stout.

All in all, this brew is not recommended. Ridgeway has other brews that are more worth your money. Should not be classified in the stout style because it cannot compete with brews in the same style.

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2.37/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

An aggressive pour into a nonic glass brought out a slight head that did a quick vanishing act and left some lace here and there. A very dark ruby colored ale but not the black of a stout or porter.

Smells odd? I get a whiff of cheap bear like Natty Boe then sweet and fruity aromas, ( Cherry? ) very two dimensional.

Fair mouthfeel, lightly carbonated, thin for stout, hell thin for a porter, not bad just again no complexity.

Taste? This was the worst part. Reminds me of what Dr Pepper would taste like if it were a beer. The "skunkiness" mentioned by others is the first perceived taste, then sweet like cola with hints of cherry. No toasted malts/coffee/chocolate/bread flavors and no bitterness to speak of.

For almost $7 a pint this was a huge disappointment.

FYI.--- I am a porter and stout lover and this offering missed the style by a mile.

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Photo of mothman
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

About 1 finger of light tan head. Head fades down to a thin layer. Leaves splattered lace. Color is a Roasted bark brown.

Aroma: Roasted chest nuts. Some chocolate malts, toffee, but it has a hint of skunkiness to it, reminds me of other English style beers. Not to bad, just in the background.

Taste: Chocolate, nuts, and toffee. That skunkiness comes back.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied for a stout. A medium amount of carbonation. Somewhat creamy feel to it. Ends with a nutty flavor to it with some skunkyflavor to it.

Overall, not the stout for me. I just wasn't a fan of the English parts of this beer. It had some nice toffee notes but I gotta pass on this one.

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

Pours a nice, clear chestnut brown with a decent amount of tan lace. A decent amount of lace clings to the glass after each sip.

Pleasant, roasty aroma, with some caramel, toffee, and a hint of smokiness.

Taste is robust, but not over the top. A nice balance of coffee, roast, and a crisp hop to balance.

Mouthfeel is appropriately medium-bodied, with a healthy amount of carbonation.

This is one hell of a drinker as far as stouts go. A refreshing crispness complements the deliciously malty flavors.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark bodied stout with ruby highlights when held toward the light, mocha tan head swells leaving behind even thin bands of lacing. Aroma dark fruit and dark roasted malts very bitter root like notes, with fruit sweetness in the edges a bit of booze comes off in the nose as well. Flavor is creamy with dark chocolate and some packed in fruit notes mainly a touch of yogurt tartness and plum or raisin pudding. The mild coffee and dark chocolate roasts reign supreme bringing out a bit of alcohol in each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy lightly carbonated milky feel to it. Overall drinkability is decent but definitely not a beer to give up on American crafts for.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a bit of a crimson hue. Some light does shine through. Not nearly as black as coal. Head is cream colored, and settles to a thin film on the surface.

S: A bit roasty, but a little too malty, with hints of caramel, chocolate, and some toast. Hops are almost non-present in the aroma.

T: Flavors are somewhat thin, but still expresses character of chocolate, coffee, and some bready malt. Finish is slightly sweet and cloying, with a vanilla note.

M: Medium bodied, this brew did not live up to what it was described as.

D: It was fun to try, but I don't think I could have more than one in a given holiday season.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Noticed this at World Market as I was leaving, and was compelled to pick it up.

Its very dark, but not "black as coal" as the bottled implyed...theres plenty of deep mahogony around the edges. Nice toasty, roasty aroma, with some cocoa and coffee notes. Its very tasty. Roasted malts, with more or a bitter chocolate sweetness and fainter expresso notes. Its rather full bodied, but not as full as Ive had for the style. Still feels great, and its wicked smooth. The drinkability is really high. It's not super filling for it's heaviness, and the ABV is high, but not overwhelming. The alcohol is masked so well, its hardy noticable.

This was a really good treat, and I'm glad I tryed it. However, with a $6+ pricetag for a pint plus, I can get more for my buck elsewhere.

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

a: pours coal black with the thinnest of white-tan head...

s: light and pleasantly sweet spiciness, and only the faintest choco-coffee notes... a bit of butterscotch even.

t: creamy with malty toffee over a spiced backdrop...

m: rich and smooth, well balanced carbonation and refreshing...

d: this is a very rich but underwhelming brew. less stout bitterness than i expected, instead we are hit with a very smooth and creamy drink. not what i signed on for per se when i purchased, but good nevertheless. i would have it again...


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Photo of satowns
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby/brown color. tan head althought short lived.

aroma is big dark fruit and a decent hop presence. rich roasty malt.

flavors of milk chocolate, figs and spicy hops. deep caramel malt flavor serves as backbone.

full bodied. nice carbonation level tickles the tongue, decent alcohol presence.

great fireplace beer.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lump of coal pours black into the glass with a very thin foamy head on top. The nearly non-existent foam dissolves quickly, but leaves a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, nuts and grassy hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is light and dry on the palate. The flavor is rich roasted malt, coffee, nuts and a hint of chocolate. Towards the end some floral hop notes make themselves known. Once gone the roasted malt and nutty flavor lingers on the palate.

This is an easy drinking stout with a nice balance of hops and malts. The body seems a bit thin, but otherwise a nice beer.

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Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark red-brown with a respectable head that reduced to a collar. The aroma was sweet like maple syrup. The taste was chocolate, maple and some coffee. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was reasonable good. As export stouts go, this was a little above average.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance is dark brown with a hint of red. little head or lacing.

aroma is of coffee and chocolate maybe a light cherry.

taste is surprisingly light coffee, it really reminds me more of a brown ale, slightly nutty.

mouthfeel is light and slightly bubbly somewhat creamy.

drinkability is really nice and not very heavy.

overall a delicious beer, but not incredibly complex. it also should be mentioned that they cover up the 8% very well.

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Photo of dolemite77
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Contrary to the bottle, it is not black as coal... more of a dark reddish/brown.. nice tan head, that sits like a good rich coffee...
Aroma is there, but nothing to write home about... Chocolate covered cherries comes to mind with the aroma. Flavor is not heavily roasted, but more of a sour stout... moutfeel is weak for a stout, but it all works together ok... as a stout, not a home run, but as a winter warmer, this might get higher ratings... trying to rate it as a stout...

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Photo of Stunner97
2.87/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- light brown to black, with an extremely fastly dissipating head, when head to the light its very much light for the style

Smell- decent amount of coffee, slight dark chocolate, a somewhat not overpowering smell but not offensive

Taste- Light flavor is just so clear here, very slight chocolate and espresso coffee notes, but the overall feel here is a very light watered down stout

Mouthfeel- very light to medium bodied

Drinkability- This beer is not one you'd reach for more of one of because th finish is so weak and alcohol is so high, but the 8 percent is extremely hidden so for some it would be drinkable for its very fast effective buzz, butt overall for a stout this just is not that good at all

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Photo of froghop
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is dark brown with a tint of redness, small light brown head, foamy, average lacing.

smell is of cocoa, coffee, toffee, sour malt, and some toasted nuts.

taste is on the bitter side, unsweetened chocolate, espresso, sour malt, a little licorice, and few hops, ends a little dry and somewhat bitter.

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Photo of ectomorph
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle into a pint glass (in pieces).

A - Very dark brown (though the label boasts "As dark as it gets") hiding any visible carbonation. Small light sandy head fades away quickly.

S - Dark chocolate, raisins, and espresso. sweet and very pleasant.

T - Combinations of sweet chocolate, light roasted coffee, and maple blend with an almost lemon bitterness and warm alcohol finish. Some black fig and molasses as it begins to warm.

M - Weaker in the body department. I prefer chewy big stouts, while this brew is a thinner (more drinkable?) take on the style.

D - Moderate. The high ABV keeps this in check...

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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout from Ridgeway Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 615 ratings.
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