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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout | Ridgeway Brewing

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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday StoutLump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout
618 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 618 |  Reviews: 368
Photo of Stunner97
2.87/5  rDev -17.1%
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

 720 characters

Photo of froghop
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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%
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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Photo of HeroJH
4.07/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours nice and dark with a frothy tan head. The head stayed on for a bit but has now dissipated as I'm taking my time drinking this.

S - Brown sugar and wheat bread. Molasses cookie. Coco powder.

T - full flavor and balanced. Bitter molasses, roasted finish.

M - coating flavor, nice mild carb

D - Quite drinkable, would be nice with food or a dessert.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9oz brown pop top bottle with nice holiday label (though the label seems to make this beer fitting only around the holidays)

Appearance: The label says this brew is "as dark as it gets"...simply put...no...when held up to the light this is a very attractive bright garnet brew, but certainly not as dark as it gets...there is a light tan dense head which soon fades to a thick yet sticky film...carbonation is surprisingly high and vigorous

Smell: Not stout-like, especially foreign/export stout-like...this is very fruity, almost like a Newcastle but with more strength...there is a vague dark fruitiness here backed with almost adjuncty-sweetness and maybe a hint of caramel...not all that appetizing, to be perfectly honest

Taste: Not as bad as the aromas suggest...but I reiterate...this is NOT a foreign export stout...this is more like a mediocre to decent English strong ale...it's fruity, slightly alcoholic, and has supporting flavors of burnt caramel...little bit of earthiness in there as well...except for being a bit hot in alcohol for the 8% this would be a pretty viable beer if it wasn't for the fact that they call it a foreign export stout...for that reason alone I have to knock the taste down to "average"...if not classified a stout, this might have pulled a 3.5 or maybe even a 4

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, definitely a bit hot/prickly in alcohol

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: A decent beer in its own right...but nothing much more than "better than average"...and the way they're trying to market/sell this beer makes it lose points big time...label it an English strong ale like it is, ratchet back the alcoholic burn a bit, and you'd have a decent to above average English winter warmer.

I have to say, I've sampled several offerings from this brewery now and I'm not really that impressed with any of them...not worth the hype the local distributors keep pushing...

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Note: I'm drinking this bottle at room temperature. It really should be chilled a little.

Appearance: Pours a coal black, nice tan head with good lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, sweet but not overly sweet for a stout.

Taste: Just like the smell but with a touch of sugary tree bark.

This is a really good stout. Much better than most stouts but some, like Guiness, can give it a run for its money. Still, it's unique and worthy in its own merit. It would be easy to drink many of these in a session.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Awesome pour. Dark, dark, dark brown body with a very active medium brown head standing at about an inch and a half. There seems to be some significant carbonation too.

S - Caramel and a slight coffee aroma.

T - There's a chocolate flavor accompanied by a caramel taste. The ending and the finish offer a nice bitterness of hops that leaves my palette asking for more. I like it.

M - The feel is watery which is not at all what I was expecting. The watery feel allows it to flow fairly easy.

~ This is a good beer. One that's certainly worth the $5.00 I paid for the 25 ounce bomber. Dan's Liquor in Plover, Wisconsin is the joint where I picked up this carbon.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up this 1pt 9oz bottle from Binny's in McHenry, because I tried this at a tasting once and thought it was decent and found it on sale.

A: Pours dark dark brown with a good amount of slightly off-white colored head that reduces down to a film and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S: I mainly pick up chocolately, roasted scents with some subdued coffee notes...the more I sniff the more vanilla I'm finding

T: I actually like the taste as it's very Guinness-esque, but thinner. Chocolate, roasty, slight coffee, some nuttiness, not very complex but a nice flavor nonetheless.

M: This is where the score really suffers. It's far too thin, almost to the level of a nut brown ale. If this beer were bigger, and creamy, viscous and thick I think it would be more respectable.

D: Pretty highly drinkable because the 8% is nowhere to be found and the thin mouthfeel lends this to be drank and drank.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Got a fair amount of head from this beer. A think head shrinks to a light brown coating that remeinds me of foam on hot chocolate. The big surprice is the color. A very dark brown or possibly amber. Not as dark as most I have had. No lacing left on the sides of the glass but the remaining head stays through most of the tasting.

S - A nutty scent greets my nose. This makes me think the color is truly brown. Toasted nuts to be specific.

T - Dark chocolate, nuts, light coffee (as in with some cream). The flavor is not bad. I would have liked a more maltier flavor but this pretty good.Light on the hops but a littlpe bitterness shows up at the end.

M - Creamy and pleasant. Can't really get much of an alcohol taste but that is good in this case. Some carbonation but the beer mostly feels slick and a bit coating. The flavors realy stick around in your mouth well after each taste.

D - If I was sharing the bottle with friends or family, I could have another glass. Since I am "forced" to have the bottle to myself, one is enough for me at a single seating.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark brown with nary a highlight of dark cherrywood to its deep dark cast. Looks black in most light. Great medium sized capping of frothy, fully foamed, sandy colored firm fluff. Lots and lots of thinnly placed sheeting lace with a few holes in it is stretched across the entire glass.

A big booming dark cherry fruityness appears upon the pouring, but subsides quickly and mildly mellows out to a semi sweet chocolate, raisin mix.

Mild taster with a very mellow, soothing darkness of cocoa dusted fruit cake. Slimming dark cherry and orange tinted sweetness, tame raisin, a spritz of lemon, no bitterness, creamy tanged, and quite a rounded little tone of sweet red and black malt mixing with semi sweet milk chocolate and cream. Could have more to it, but its subtlties are kind of nice.

Body is a smoothened delight of a simple creamy stout-esk mode; a bit light, yet firm, soft and supple in its tang and carbonation. For a stout it could use more boldness and thickness. Its not completely empty, it actually carries a decent tone and character that's kind of charming and easy to take. Making for a good drinking stout. The 8% isn't evident anywhere, although after a couple or more it may catch ya by surprise. This is one Lump of Coal I would be happy with finding in my stocking.

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Photo of becktone
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 12-22-08

Eye: Black, as the label states. When held to the light one can tell that this beer is clear, though you'd never know it because its so dark. Highlights when held to the light are crimson. Head formation is nice, but retention could use some work, it falls to a thin blanket that covers the beer, color of the head isbetween light brown and tan. Lacing is a wall of foam, not very thick though.

Nose: Similar aroma to the Santa's Butt. There's a house aroma here, an aroma that is shared between the two brews I've had from Ridgeway, an aroma that is produced from the way this brewery operates or by the type of ingredients it frequently uses. The aroma isn't as distinct as the house aroma in Great Lakes or Northcoast but its there. Darker than Santa's but, more roasted and black patent, some burnt aromas here. Pretty weak aroma overall. However, what I do smell is good, big malt backbone, some spicy alcohol character. There is a particualar characteristic in this beer, weak, but it reminds me of Storm King. I remember I described it as carrot cake in that review. It is not carrot cake though, not sure how to describe it, with the exception of familiar.

Tongue: Roasted grain is pretty forward in the taste and sticks around in the aftertaste. Not really any roasted grain bitterness though. Some chocolate flavors come through too. Sweet malt character is present. Not sure how this is classified on the site, but it has the characteristics of a milk stout....real smooth, sweet, not a lot of roasted grain bitterness. Chocolate character is here too, milk chocolate. However, the abv seems to be a bit high for a milk stout. Alcohol is noticable but does not interfere with the taste of the brew, if anything it makes it better, gives some balance. Overall this is a nice brew, one that I'd definitely drink again.

Feel and Drinkability: Incredibly smooth body, carbonation is low with tiny delicate bubbles. Body is medium-heavy. This is one that I really enjoy drinking. Feel is great, and it really works for this beer, everything is working together real nicely. As I already mentioned this is one that I'll drink again, a very nice beer. Give this one a go round if you've not had it...Tis the season...and the only time of the year that its available here (greater cincy area).

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Photo of stockingcpl
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This brew poured with a rather dark hesitant head. Lacings and spiderwebbing is plentiful. Color is a rather dark semi-translucent chocolate.

Smell: Aroma is a rather pleasant coffee malt. Some slight spiciness sneaks in during sustain. Certainly an active aroma curve. Quite interesting.

Taste: Good flavor profile. Follows the overall aroma. Herhaps some slight prune during sustain. Coffee and chocolate dominate mid and onset. Malt setected during the totality orf the flavor curve.

Mouthfeel: A little heavy on the palate, but this is not unexpected for a stout. Aftertaste is minimal. Sustain tapers rather quickly.

Drinkability: Not bad here. Nothing special. It is a traditional stout.

Overall: An interesting holiday stout. The faint spiciness makes this a good winter warmer.


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Photo of Fnord
3.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Very dark brown, almost opaque. Not quite as dark as I expected. Thin, tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - Some sweet malt, a hint of fruit, probably cherry.

Taste - Roasted malts dominate, with barely perceptible alcohol backing. Chocolate notes, with a bittersweet finish. Hops are not noticeable.

Mouthfeel - Nice 'n thick, as appropriate for a stout. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty drinkable, considering the high ABV.

Notes - Overall a good stout, if not terribly impressive. Still, the rarity of the style (at least around here) means that this one would be welcome back in my fridge, if I could buy it by itself.

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Photo of nebula1999
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby-black pour leaving thin, beige head. Aromas of malt, nuts, vanilla-coco. Mildly sweet taste of roasted grain, berries and faint vanilla. Some drying hops in the finish. Good solid boozy British stout. I like it. Recommended to wallow away the holidays, or any day.

 269 characters

Photo of Gehrig
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big tan head on a ruby-mahogany body; decent lacing and head duration, with a lovely color carrying the day for the appearance. Appealing but modest aromas emerge--vanilla, berry, biscuity malt. The taste is better and fuller, quite sweet with berry, chocolate, vanilla bean, and lightly roasted toffee. It's rather delicious, though more like a sweet Winter Warmer than a stout.

The mouthfeel is smooth and easy on the palate and, coupled with the mild, sweet taste, this is easy to gulp down despite the 8% ABV. It's not a bold stout by any means. Nor is it a Lump of Coal. It's a good, generous gift, nice on a cold Winter's day and great after dinner.

Good stuff.

 669 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a dark brown with ruby highlights and a frothy beige head.

Aroma of malts, cherries, and a metallic note.

The taste is sweet and not much like a stout. Tastes of cherries and sweet fruit along with caramel and grain. The 8% alcohol is well hidden.

Light bodied, dry and tart, and moderately carbonated.

A very light and thin stout, and more of a fruity winter ale. Nothing special in my book.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Terrific label. :)

A - Dark brown/garnet with mocha head that sticks around and leaves some lace. Head diminishes to a thin sheet.

S - Nice milk chocolate, with some espresso and leather.

T - Similar to its nose with a touch of caramel and peat. I think I detect some hops, too. Nothing all that grand.

M - Has a slick but creamy feel, medium body, and some decent carbonation that holds it up like a porter. Lighter than I expected.

D - The 8% ABV is well concealed so I must admit this would be fine as a dessert beverage - perhaps paired with a decent cigar.

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Photo of Lambstrong
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black in color, it pours a sandy tan head. There is little to no lacing and the head dissipates rather quickly. The aroma is one of roasted malts with a bit of vanilla. I enjoyed the rich chocolate notes and this is followed up by sweet roasted malts. The mouthfeel is above average and this is a very drinkable beer. All in all a solid stout that would pair will with a variety of deserts.

 396 characters

Photo of Dantheman4162
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bought this for the novelty of the bottle. my initial impression? "eh". not the best. beer was very dark, almost too dark. Pitch black. malty taste.

Like some of my other reviews, this was taken from my notes, and is from winter 2007. I definitely need to retry this beer.

 274 characters

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

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. Good sized mocha head sticks around for a little while leaving some lace on the way down. Smells of milk chocolate, a little roast, some bread, maybe some licorice. Tastes like it smells chocolate, bread, maybe a bit of molasses and hops in there too. Oily/creamy mouthfeel, medium body, medium to high carbonation. Really kind of unremarkable. Tasted more like a brown or a porter than a stout. I though the body was a bit light for the style and it lacked enough roasted malt flavor and aroma. The taste was actually very flavorful, just not the beer I thought I purchased.

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

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Thick murky brown / black with red highlights when held to the light. Not totally opaque. Poured with 1" of head that receded quickly over a minute to a film that left almost no lacing during the drink.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Reminds me more of a porter than a stout.

T: Taste follows the nose: a strong presence of roasted malts and dark chocolate with hints of coffee. A solid flavor profile, but nothing exceptional or surprising. A good stout taste.

M: Medium carbonation and nice medium-to-thick body. Not very creamy or sticky, which is again where I'd make the porter comparison.

D: I'd definitely have another if offered, but I have other stouts I trust more, so this will get skipped on a shopping trip.

 776 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clever label, mediocre beer. A 50dc bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The beer was dark brown with red highlights. It had a medium-sized tan head that disappeared quickly. Roasted malt and faint chocolate aroma. Coffee and chocolate taste, teeny bit of hops. The beer seemed to be pretty watery, and I don't think I'll have it again.

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

This poured an opaque cherry wood color with tan head. It smelled like milk chocolate and roasted coffee with some nuttiness and copper hops. It tasted like milk chocolate and barley and coffee malts, with some copper hops. As it warmed, it gained hints of licorice and molasses. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mostly bitter but slightly sweet aftertaste. Overall this was a solid British stout, although another Ridgeway beer with nothing to make it especially Christmas. Regardless, it had good flavor and good body. It was easy to drink...surprisingly easy, as I thought it was 6% ABV until I looked it up and realized it's actually 8%. The alcohol was definitely well hidden. Otherwise, there was nothing fancy about this beer, but it was well refined and enjoyable.

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Photo of colts9016
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass, at about 50-53 degrees.

Appearance: The pour of the beer is a deep dark brown beer there was a one finger head. The head was tan and bubbly, but the head dissipated to a quarter inch ring. There are some carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass.

Nose: A roasted grain, malt, molasses, and dried dark fruit. There seem to be a slight port aroma too.

Taste: A roasted malt, molasses, and figs. There is a heavy sweetness to the beer. There are hints of anise, coffee, and diacetyl.

Overall: This beer missed the mark as an export stout. It lacked the head retention, and a bit of bitterness to the stout. The beer taste overtly sweet, Guinness is better Export stout. I had one in the Shannon Ireland Airport. The mouth feel is creamy and smooth. The finish is sweet. This beer could be more like a sweet stout, instead of an export stout. Overall the beer is good and easy to drink, except it missed the mark on a few areas.

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Photo of rye726
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another below average beer from Ridgeway. Good marketing, but sub par brewing. Pours a dark brown. Not much of a head. The nose has dark malts and fruits. The taste is fairly uncomplex. A good amount of roasty malts and subtle hops. Medium body pairs well with a greasy meal.

 275 characters

Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 618 ratings
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