Lump Of Coal | Ridgeway Brewing

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Lump Of CoalLump Of Coal

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
United Kingdom (England) | website

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: 355 | Ratings: 591
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
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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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Photo of match1112
3.01/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours black as nite with reddish brown highlights. a half finger of tan head quickly and loudly, like fizz in soda, settled to a spotty froth on top. the nose is very weak for a stout. not getting any roast or chocolate or hops, just beer. taste is slightly bettter with a little chocolate flavor, but very weak and disappointing. mouthfeel is o.k. at first, goes down smooth, but then leaves a bad aspirin bitter flavor behind that lingers for ever. at seven dollars a pint and the muted flavors i would not recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This better be good as I paid $6.99 for a 1pt 9oz bottle at Total Wine. The marketing sucked me in. What stout lover can resist a lump of coal at the holidays?

It poured black at the core, progressing to the darkest brown on the edges. The light beige head was nearly non-existent and what little there was withdrew to a think blanket immediately with a bit of stickiness at the rim.

Classic stout aromas of chocolate, roasted malts, hops mingling around, toffee maybe.

1st impression - not as huge as I thought it may be. But then again, this is not an imperial stout and it tips in at 8%ABV which should advise this is not going to be huge.

2nd impression - Nice roast flavors, a bit of cocoa, with a nice blend of sweetness and hop bite with neither one overpowering.

Pleasant mouthfeel with the alcohol well hidden and a moderate and lingering finish.

What I like about this is that it is not a huge imperial. I can get good stout flavors without the high intensity of an imperial. The lower alcohol is nice as well. I love imperials but when I'm about to pop a 500-650ml 10%ABV+ imperial I'm making a real commitment. I can pop this, enjoy and still be good to go.

Big downside is price. I'd pay 10-12 bucks for a six pack of 12oz bottles but at $6.99 for a single bottle, I probably won't buy again just because of economics - but it was good and worth a try.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark ruby red-brown.
A short lived bubbly head and some small lacing.

The nose hits me with hops and some caramel and toasted malt and some hints of licorice. But the sensation is diminutive.

Flavor is rather a petite stout- maybe I'm not considering the "English Ale" moniker. Maybe I'm used to being pounded by dark odoriferous ales with muscular flavors. This is not one.

It is an enjoyable beer-- but in the end not one that I'd reach for instead of an imperial stout. Maybe it's because I saw "Lump of Coal" or maybe I saw "Dark Holiday Stout"..

Mouthfeel is cordial- nothing overwhelming, nothing to spark the memory while browsing at the packie..

Overall-- OK.. there's many that are less satisfying but many that are more such..

It was an enjoyable beer.. but I'm not going to walk a quarter mile for it.

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

From the bottle marked F13-245. Sampled on December 13, 2011. The pour is mainly dark brown with ruby red hues glistening around the edges when held to the light. The head is minimal. On the nose there are a variety of scents including sweet malts, cherry, and later spent coffee grinds. The body texture falls into the thin to medium range. The taste is a little more mellow with the same mixture of malts, cherry, and coffee grinds with the slightest hint of clean, crisp hops at the finish.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this 500ml. One of the many random, slightly gimmicky Christmas beers by this brewery.

Very dark brownish-red, no translucence but some orange highlights. Light beige head starts big, retains decently.

Faint, mostly uninteresting scent, tart/dark fruit and dark malt.

Lots of fruit in the taste, raisin and plum, molasses. Yeast, dark bread, light tartness. Some cocoa in the finish.

Low on the carbonation but an okay mouthfeel. No booze taste.

Not much stout, it's okay, nothing about makes it me want to re-visit though.

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

Vintage 2010.

The colour is black; the finger thick head is golden brown. Some lacing occurs.

The smell got notes of sweet red berries, some bitter notes, liquorice and raspberries.

The smell is semi-sweet with lots of red berries, some burnt flavours that makes me think of burned pop corns. Salt liquorice and raspberry candy. The aftertaste is on the lighter side with more red berries, some black German rye bread and a growing fruity bitterness. Matured strong wine in the finish.

The carbonation is fresh, the small bubbles medium strong. He liquid is light.

I had no idea that this beer vas that strong (8 %), I had guessed 5 % or so. A fine English stout that sadly was served way too cold.

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Photo of kjlued
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When Poured this beer, I was at first a little disappointed.
Although it was fairly dark, it just was not as thick as I would expect it to be.

However, I bought it and now I had to drink it.
At first taste I could feel the ends of my mouth curling up towards a smile. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Even though the look is not stout, the taste most certainly is. Good beer and worth drinking.

So if you have been naughty this year put this on your shopping list cause Santa already has a different lump of coal waiting for you.

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Photo of Casey10
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one last year never tired it saw it again it was okay. Kind of surprised a higher abv stout would be this thin. Had some nice qualities tasted okay but nothing that made me want to have another. It poured dark but again not so much their for taste some malts but again thin.

Glad I tried it always nice to have something different not sure if I would have again.

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Photo of ckollias
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 1 pint 9 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark blackish-brown with a thin tan ½-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Malty licorice aroma. Hints of coffee and roasted malts.

T: Dark rich ale with a generous sweetness and slight roasted malt bitterness. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Slightly hoppy and smooth.

M: Thin body and minimal carbonation

O: Decent export stout – easily drinkable –just not enough body to make it excellent.

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Photo of TXTider
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - 1 finger head which quickly dissipates, black in color

S - caramel, molasses, little bit of coffee towards the end

T -sweet, roasty, mild alcohol

M - smooth, low carbonation

O - not bad, I plan to cellar one and try it again in a year, there are others I prefer for this category

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Photo of TheBeerCarl
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a deep dark amber with a thin light brown head. The head is light in body and dissipates quickly.

Smell: malt and molasses are two most prevalent notes with hints of cinnamon, clove and rock candy.

Taste: Burnt sugar is the first flavor that comes to mind. There are subtle flavors of molasses, malt, coffee, clove and licorice. It also tastes like there is a lot of residual sugar and has more Belgium tripel characteristics than it does stout.

Mouthfeel: It has a very sharp bite to it from the excessive amount of carbonation and that bite lingers for a while.

Overall: I was not really a impressed with this beer as I was expecting a nice stout with maybe some holiday flavors. Instead I got a really sweet beer with mostly odd flavors.

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Lump Of Coal from Ridgeway Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 591 ratings.
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