Lump Of Coal | Ridgeway Brewing

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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

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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 613
Photo of Fatehunter
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Two fingers of head, almost black colored body.
Smell is the roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee. Strong and bold.
Big roasted malt flavor with moderate bitterness. Nice balance that maintains a strong "dark" taste.
Medium body with moderate carbonation.
The darkness reigns in this beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a slight hint of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and about two fingers of light tan head that recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and sweet dark aroma. Roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, toffee, and hazel nut. Mild hint of smoke. Also some light undertones of dark fruit including prune and raisin. Sweet scents of brown sugar. Hop scent is very light. A pretty nice roasty and burnt aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a nice roasty and sweet mix of dark malt flavor. Dark roasted malts with a taste of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, hazelnut, coffee, burnt toast, and a little smoke. Burnt sugars add some sweetness. Light taste of dark raisin, fig, and prune. Subtle earthy hops in the background. A pretty nice roasted taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat slick. Moderately drying finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: Pretty good for a smaller English Stout. Nice roasty flavors and balanced sweetness.

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Photo of SerialHiker
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark reddish brown…not overly transparent…some nice khaki colored head about an inch thick form and stuck around…nice and appetizing…(4/5)

Smell: Sweet candy, with some holiday spice…caramel malts, roasted malts, toffee, alcohol heat, dark fruits, cherry, some earthy hops…tons of alcohol heat…(3/5)

Taste: Roasted malt and barley in the beginning accented by sweet, cherry candy and holiday spices…earthy, piney hops and dark fruit flavor show up in the middle rounding out the malty beginning…tons of alcohol heat in the flavor, kinda dominant, does detract from overall taste…(2/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with light carbonation…it is a bit watery and alcoholy…roasted malt and barley flavor coats tongue…(2/5)

Overall: The idea of a Christmas stout is interesting, but this brew doesn’t live up to expectations…it’s got the makings of a holiday ale or lager, but there is plenty left to be desired, like a thicker disposition…while it is warming my belly, I think most of that is from the higher ABV and not necessarily the cinnamon and clove…the spices are not crisp, leaving a slightly heavy, overdone taste in my mouth…I’ll finish this one, but don’t think I’ll be looking for another…there are better choices for a holiday brew…(2/5)

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks can be deceiving. "A Dark Holiday Stout" is what the label reads, and while there are some anise aromas, there's little else that reminds me of other holiday treats (beers). While it is not as dark as a lump of coal as the label also notes, it is on the darker side of some porters, or root beers.

The head fizzled out right quick, and only a faint trace of one was left. No lacing here at all. Sweet scents, a bit of a maple aroma, but that's all for me. The taste is also sweet, but because the body is very light (again, more like a porter), it is not cloyingly sticky and syrupy. Woody tasting, some smoke, and more rummy sweetness. Very mild carbonation, which was a welcome element.

One that I might get again, though I won't seek it out.

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Photo of brewdude1982
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a bomber poured into a snifter.

A: 4.0  lighter dark pour with red undertones
S: 4.0 dark malts and slight hops
T: 4.0 light dark malt taste and very little hops
MF: 3.5 light on the body but bigger on taste
O: 4.0 this a very pleasant beer with a nice finish. I would recommend to friends and family. I could even see doing this beer as a session beer if it were on tap somewhere

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Photo of tdm168
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown with a reddish hue and a short, brown head

S - toffee, faint chocolate, faint roasted malts

T - toffee, cola, roasted malts, chocolate, faint bitterness

M - medium bodied, crisp, a bit overcarbonated

This was a pretty disappointing beer. Everything was a bit watered down. None of the flavors were pronounced or forward. It also had a distinct cola-like flavor that I'm really not fond of in my beer. This is a beer I will pass up in the future.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: dark brown/mahogany shimmer, trace khaki head, solid lacing

S: mild chocolate, toffee, nutty, hint of booze

T: hint of black licorice, sugary roasted black coffee,
firm bready middle, long boozy finish

M: med body, smooth/mild creamy mouth

O: To celebrate International Stout Day saw this at
my new local beer shop. Not bad, probably not get it again.
Love beers from British Isles.


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

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very dark brown color with ruby highlights, two fingers of tan colored craggy head lasts for two minutes and leaves medium amounts of lacing behind on the glass. Heavier body and lighter carbonation.

Smells of licorice, a splash of black coffee, and a light amount of char roast. Tastes of both milk and dark chocolate, with a lesser amount of licorice than the nose, and a hint of burnt fruitiness around the edges of the other flavors that amplifies as the glass warms up. My token criticism is that I would have liked for that fruitiness and roasted character to show up at a higher level / depth than what I received.

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

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark brown, appearing black. Faint aroma of light malt and dark fruits. Flavors are typical English dry stout. Light toasted malt and a hint of burnt coffee, dark fruit. Flavor is fairly subdued. Light to medium bodied. Pleasant, but not a great stout. Still one of the better Ridgeways, which tend to be rather bland in flavor, IMHO.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a Cigar City El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: This looks thin during the pour, but it ends up as a decent, fairly opaque dark brown in the glass. Low visible carbonation and a thin tan head that fades quickly.

S: Roasty malts, chocolate, and some light charred notes. Some sweet yeast esters, and a mild noble hop bitterness. Nothing terrible, nothing exciting here.

T: Milk chocolate and roasted malts. English ale yeast with some accompanying sweet esters. Mild hop and roast bitterness. Sweet malts and esters last into the hang.

M: Even for style, the body is on the thin side. The alcohol flavors are well-integrated, and the carbonation sensation is low overall but probably average for style.

O: Not at all my favorite beer, though it’s probably the best of this sub-par Christmas series from Ridgeway that I’ve had. The fruitiness is within style guidelines, though not a common aspect in other exemplars of style that I've had. A reasonably decent Export stout, and certainly not undrinkable. Scores given are to style; my personal preference would probably be closer to a 3.25.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan bubbly head that clings to the edge of the glass. Nice lacing. Pretty beer.

Chocolate covered cherries anyone? A strong ale mixed with a splash of stout. Not much of a stout nose, but I'm rating what I smell, which is sweet, toasted fruit filled malt.

Lots of character here. If a blind taste test existed for this, I'd never pick stout as an option, except for the finish. Big cherry and woody flavors, with sweet tawny malt up front. Light bitter in the middle, and here comes the dark roasted malt and light bitter finish. What a wild ride! Low grades because people want this to be something else. It is a miss-mash of flavors, but they work.

Fuller bodied, sllck and mouth coating.

Overall, a one and done. You can't do 2 of these one after the other. Rich and sweet/bitter. Good complexity, but not a true stout. I liked this, but not enough to go after this as a must have. I like the complexity and the quality of the brew. My advice -- share this.

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Photo of chilly460
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours extremely dark brown, with very minimal head after an aggressive pour. Head dissipated almost immediately leaving minimal ring around the outside of the glass. Some tiny bubbled lacing left on the glass.

S: Very mild smelling beer. Get sweeter caramel malts immediately, somewhat burnt smelling but not roasty if that makes sense. As it warms, get a bit more of a nutty tone. Moves into some richer toffee aroma as it continues to warm, but all along it simply doesn't have much "punch" in the nose.

T: Immediately get some darker roast in the initial hit, with plenty of sweetness, like molasses. Get a bit of saltiness at times, some worstershire type flavor.

M: Low carbonation and quite thick, but somehow didn't feel "smooth". May have been the sharpness of that "salty" taste not letting it smooth out.

O: It was OK, but I can't say I'd buy another. Just not a big flavor profile, no warming roast or complexity that I'd want from a midrange stout.

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Photo of legalpete19340
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark brown with some ruby highlights. A substantial head popped up with champagne like bubbles. Not much lacing or coverage on this one.

S: Mild is putting it, well, mildly. An intense search reveals very mild coffee and possible dark chocolate. Really, it is just odorless.

T: Here's some flavor, where was it in the nose? Comes on with a burnt malt character that hints of licorice. Some coffee too. From here its all dark chocolate covered cherries. The end is smooth and sweet.

M: Very medium across all fronts but with enough heft on the tongue to keep it in stout range.

O: Basically a good beer that is fairly one dimensional. Was enjoyable enough but as a holiday beer because of the sweet factor. The smell is definitely not inline with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of tito42
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. If this is a Julian date stamp on the label, it was bottled in July 2011.

A: Dark sepia, rather clear, with a very foamy cocoa head that leaves decent lacing and sticks around. Not quite as dark as I like my stouts to be.

S: Roasted malt with notes of coffee, tobacco, and fig. A whiff of alcohol as well. Somewhat faint but comes on as the beer warms.

T: Roasted malt and barley up front gives way quickly to a burnt coffee flavor. A peppery kick at the end and cherry and fig throughout. Also a hint of chocolate. Somewhat unbalanced compared to other foreign stouts, too much competing for my taste bud's attention here, without coordinating the effort. A pepper, like cayenne, lingers afterward.

M: Malty and dextrous. The finish is a bit harsh, really dries the tongue out, but fades away quickly as well.

O: An average effort at a foreign/export stout. Doesn't hold 8% necessarily well, with an unbalanced flavor profile.

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Photo of beergoot
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Original 2012 ratings: 3.0 3.5 4.0 3.5 4.0 (original review below the dashed line)

Clear, brownish/mahogany body topped with a decent head--rich and creamy, lacing and rings. Roasted grains with baker's chocolate in the aroma; an almost sour quality to things (but not quite). The taste doesn't really vary from my original review. Good heavy mouthfeel; nice amount of residual sugars.

A much better impression after a few years. A very malt-centered, roasted grain forward stout with a decent alcohol kick.

A clear, dark mahogany body with a fair off-white head. Decent lacing and rings down the glass.

Aroma is dominated by dark, roasted malt scents with a hint of floral and grassy hops. A smidgeon of coffee notes...

The taste is relatively rich: medium body with nice dark, roasted malts and cocoa. A good roasted bitterness in the finish.Tasty...

This a a decent stout representative. Nicely balanced between scent, taste, and mouthfeel. Better than average and worth checking out...Subtle and worthy for the style...

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Photo of r3dsix
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this on sale and decided to give it a try.

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Looks as dark as my morning coffee. What little head is there is white and disapates quickly.

There is very little odor from the beer although is not bad smelling its isn't very enticing. A suggestion of charred malt and alcohol make a reluctant appearance.

The alcohol taste is fairly prominent and made me do a double take to find only 8% alc/vol. Aside from that Smokey malts are present with a strong taste of cherry or other dark Berry like taste. Also notes of a coffee liqure are present.

There is a moment of a nice taste to this beer but it doesn't stay for long. It washes away quickly to be soon forgotten.

Would not buy again. Would not recommend to anyone. Would still drink it if offered to me.

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

nice different holiday dark brew. pours literally coal black, no transparency with a smallish white head, frothy. smells a little dark fruity with good rich roasted malts and a heavy sturdy yeast. flavor is low key but different, there is a pronounced fruity malty lightness if thats doable. mouthfeel is nice, less carbonated than it could be, with a full body and a pungent but complimentary to its flavor and aroma finishing kick. english for sure, the malts make this one. at 8% the value is great. very drinkable. i am an elf

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark brown, with ruby highlights. Thin film covering, with a slightly heavier ring around the glass. Effervescent aromas of coffee and dark fruit, with roasty, toasty tones. The flavors are rich, with a dark chocolate highlight over the roasted coffee flavors. Lighter bodied for a stout, with no cling left behind. The aftertaste is more of the sweet notes with a coffee bitter to balance, and a fairly quick, slick finish. Decent, but not spectacular.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, dark red highlights around the edge when held up to the light, smallish tan head that sticks around though and leaves a cap on top.

Smell is barely existent, really have to search to even find the roasted malt aroma.

Taste is fairly straightforward, roasted malt up front and is the primary flavor, a burnt bitterness follows in the aftertaste, soft carbonation adds a bit of creaminess even though it's interrupted by a semi-dry finish, strength is very well hidden though.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black, with hints of red, nice foamy head.

Smells of dark cherry and sweet malt.

Has a great dark fruit and sweet malt flavor, matches the smell nicely.

Very smooth and creamy, easy to drink for an 8% and hides it's booze very well.

This was the best beer of my all English night, and it was easy to see why, great flavor and texture make this a darn fine beer.


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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, dark chocolate, and licorice. Dark fruits (cherry?), and a bit of smoke and charcoal. The taste is sweeter than, 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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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 613 ratings.
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