Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout | Ridgeway Brewing

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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday StoutLump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout
637 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

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Ratings: 637 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of cdkrenz
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
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 +7.2%
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 -10.1%
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 +15.4%
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 +13.9%
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 +1.4%
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 +1.2%
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 -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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 -7.2%
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 +3.8%
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.

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Photo of Dantheman4162
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
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 +2.3%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
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 +15.9%
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 +0.9%
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 -9.3%
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.

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Photo of kaseydad
2.72/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was the last of my X-mas gift set from Ridgeway. Dark as coal on the initial pour. No head whatsoever which I hope doesn't mean this was a past it's prime brew. Malty, coffee and smoky aroma. The smell is not bad but the taste is nothing special. I was hoping for more but really the only thing going for this, in my opinion, is the cool name of the beer.

Many better stout's out there for the drinking.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 1pt 9fl oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Deep mahogany with some slight ruby highlights. Pours with ~1 finger of surprisingly fizzy light brown head, which fades rapidly to a thin, incomplete cap, and eventually, into nothing at all.

S- Molasses, cherry cordial, and roasty sweetness.

T- Dark molasses and interesting charcoal/burned wood flavors seem to co-mingle with some dark fruity notes. Some slightly drying alcohol tinged astringency on the finish. Interesting, though non-awe inspiring mix.

M- Too high carbonation at the start, which conversely falls to nearly complete flatness before consumption is complete....watery and waaay thinner than I had hoped. I'm always very disappointed to encounter a stout this thin and watery, though it wasn't altogether an un-enjoyable mouthfeel in it's own right....just not at all what I expect in a stout. A score of 3 might be slightly generous here.

D- Not bad. It's thin mouthfeel makes it feel like you can pack it away pretty easily, especially considering the ABV.

Future outlook: A bit of a weird one. Never really felt like I was drinking a "real" stout. Not a terrible brew by any stretch, but not one I would feel compelled to revisit, and certainly not what I was expecting out of a "dark holiday stout."

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours deep chestnut brown. Not quite opaque. Thin head doesn't last.

Nose has a pleasant roasted & caramel quality.

Roasty and chocolatey on the palate. Watery thin body, low carbonation, and somewhat tart finish. Disappointing. Easy to drink, I suppose, but not because of the flavors.

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Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The fourth and final bottle from the Holiday Ales Pack. 500 ml brown bottle, label as above.
Pours deep and dark, almost black, with ruby hilights when held to the light. Short tan head of foamy bubbles that form a solid floating cap. Smell is mildly sweet, roasted malty. Lighlty toasty grains, a bit fruity. Body is slightly thin and one dimensional. 8% alcohol is well hidden. OK as a regular dry stout, but needs alot more (aroma, flavor, body) to judged against other Foreign, high alcohol stouts. Again, slightly dissapointing.

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

Found this in my stocking Christmas morning. Poured into a pint glass. Black in the glass, with hints of mahogany when held to the light. Poured with a roughly quarter-inch tan head. Aroma and taste are reminiscent of dark chocolate. Not too bitter, with a nice mouthfeel. This is a stout I'd drink again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spicey stout and I like the style. Pours dark with amber highlights. Burnt aroma, lacey. Oh and some bittersweet chocolate. There is a spot of smoke in here and the spiciness, though the coffee throws me a bit off. Decent drinkable.Fine British beer and beat my expectations.

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Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 637 ratings