Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout | Ridgeway Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday StoutLump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout
BA SCORE
3.46/5
Okay
619 Ratings
Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday StoutLump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
ridgewaybrewery.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#41,710
Reviews:
368
Ratings:
619
pDev:
14.74%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
60
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 551-575 | 576-600 | 601-625  | next → last
Ratings: 619 |  Reviews: 368
Photo of isubsmith
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark black. Not as dense or opaque as expected, but still right up there. Almost no head despite a vigorous pour.

Smell: Fruity chocolate. Maybe bananas? Some of the 8% ABV is there. Very interesting.

Taste: No hiding the 8% in the taste. Definately there. Roasted, smoky taste. Some of the chocolate/coffee taste, but not as much as one would expect. Body is a little light. Smooth. Relatively low carbonation

Overall, an interesting beer. Perhaps a little less "stouty" than I'd like and the alcohol is a bit too up front. But, definately worth a try.

 575 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark chestnut color, not quite opague, but close, with a modest fizzy chocolate colored head that disappeared way too fast to leave any lace.

The aroma is fruity, malty with a hint of coffee and chocolate.

The taste is also very fruity up front - figs, apples, pears? The middle brings in more of the roasty malt flavors with weak coffee and chocolate hints. The coffee comes on a little stronger in the somewhat dry sour finish. Only traces of hops, not really significant.

Medium/full bodied. Reasonably smooth and easy to drink. Well balanced but not really strong on anything. Very low carbonation and well hidden alcohol content.

 646 characters

Photo of AndoBrew
2.96/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

*did not like would not buy*

Appearance: Very dark black with a pissy sudsy head. The head ran away quickly, but left a small suds layer throughout the glass.

Smell: WOW, this is strange! Light berry fruity smells dominate the bouquet. So wierd, no smell of a stout, CANT WAIT TO SIP!!

Taste: Again, wow, compared to the smell, it is all dark smoke-flavored malt.. roasty toasty malt, very smokey compared to others in its class, not much at all of the coffee or cocoa flavors.

Mouthfeel: A miss! I like my stouts thicker and creamier. This is spritzy and watery for my stout preference.

Drinkability: Hmm, I think this bottle would wear out its welcome, kinda like the bad holiday guests in the story on the back label. It is good at masking the 8% but who cares?

Notes: Not for me, not bad, not good, I demand excellence... This is not it. But I do love all the stories on the label.

 904 characters

Photo of ADR
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark but not opaque, mahogany highlights shine through. Tannish head head is not big but leaves collars for lace on the glass. Aroma is reserved, mostly pale caramelized sugar, not much special. Flattish mouthfeel and not that pleasant, not coating or creamy. Flavors show some aspects of generic fruit-flavored gum, transitioning into mild and weak coffee but without an overall hard-roasted bitterness. This beer has the alcohol content to verge on Imperial or Double in strength, but compare it to Samuel Smith Imperial and its easy to see that it doesn't have nearly the interest. Sweet and unidimensional, maybe cantelope flavors are most obvious.

 652 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass black with a ruby highlight and a cascading brown head which rose very tall and moussy and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity when first poured with and estery aromatic. The fruity aromas were followed with chocolate and a nice roasty aroma that was no overdone.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee with a low roastiness and smooth chocolate flavor with a light fruitiness. The flavor was not bitter and was smooth for an 8% stout.

The finish was just dry and fruity with a light chocolate and coffee into the afteraste. The body was medium full and the carbonation was low. The beer was not very complex but had a nice flavor. It could have certainly been more roasty and less estery.

16.9 ounce bottle. $4.99 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA..

 813 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd love to be able to call the color 'anthracite' in keeping with the coal theme, but it's really much closer to mahogany with generous ruby-amber highlights at the margins. The dense, light chocolate brown head is creamysoft rather than stiff. I'm not expecting much lace, but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised (note: I wasn't). A good, not an exceptional, stout look.

While the previous sentence applies to the aroma as well, it isn't quite as good in a relative sense. Roasted malt is uppermost, but could be more roasted yet. I detect faint aromas of carob and watered-down coffee, along with some musty fruit. The nose needs an injection of stoutiness for sure.

Upon tasting... we're back on track. The flavor profile consists of well-roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee with cream. There's a little brown sugar flavor as well, with a wee bit of vanilla, but the beer isn't all that sweet. English hops play a bit part at best. Sweet, sour and bitter are all present in roughly equal proportions and tend to cancel one another out, resulting in a fairly well-balanced beer.

The body isn't big and bad, but it is full enough and creamy enough to be enjoyable (and is a great fit with the flavor profile). It's firming up nicely with warming, but is still a long way away from chewy. The 8% ABV is on the generous side for a (non-Imperial) stout, so it's a good thing that it's well-buried.

Lump of Coal is the final member of the 'holiday quadruplets' from Ridgeway Brewing, joining Santa's Butt, Bad Elf and Very Bad Elf. It isn't the best member of that group, but that probably has more to do with my affection for hoppy beer than anything else. It's a solid effort that I'd be more than happy to drink at Christmas or any other time of the year. I certainly wouldn't mind getting a Lump of Coal in my stocking this December 25th.

 1,859 characters

Photo of budsboy
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as coal with a brown head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is chocolate, coffee espresso with fruity sweet overtones. The alcohol is apparent as well.

An interesting mix of flavors here, coffee, chocolate and oddly banana. Alcohol is there but not overwhelming. Aftertaste is decidedly tangy, furity in nature.

Big, but not chewy. Full-bodied ale that feels more like a porter than a stout.

Not bad. I'd be interested to have one that had been sitting around for half a year or so.

 504 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black that the light of the pub could not penetrate. A dark tan head of decent size. Leaves no lace.
Smell is kind of sweet, toasted malt, caramel, coffee, toffee.
Taste is toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a sweetness that comes across as cocoanut milk. Very nice. Great balance and flavor.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, full-bodied with a light effervescence all over the mouth and tongue.
Drinkability: oh, heck yes! Even with an 8% ABV I could drink this fine brew all day. With or without food, this is a great beer.

 542 characters

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

Looks: Dark. Midnight. Go figure.
Smells: Malts and alchohol. And not much else. Did this one sit on the boat for too long?
Tastes: Bitter toasted malts, coffee with a hint of fruit.
Feels: Smooth, a bit watery. It feels like the flavor of the beer is sort of floating on water as you drink it. Like a malt flavored candy with a water center. Or vice versa.
Is: Not a bad brew, but the harshness makes it a little rough. The odd overall feel of it makes it a Christmas time drink- once a year. The fruit comes out as it warms, and it became a little more pleasant.

 569 characters

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

Black trimmed with shadowy gradients of ruby, magenta and orange. The head is tight and brown and short-lasting.
Nose of leather, hickory charcoal, and fudge.
Enters with a sense of burnt chocolate, one that eventually diverges into two separate entities: grill ash and carob. Turns earthier midway with tobacco, cowboy boots, and suede. Pretty dry at this point, but the sweetness is amped up on the home stretch. Grape jam and tawny port close the deal, with a reminder of roast via mocha java, and no discernable hop contribution.
Approaching full bodied with a certain expression of weight, but not of the strength it carries.
To nitpick: this is broad but not deep. Everything is manifest right at the fore, and it hardly changes throughout the sip or throughout temperature changes.
I'd also like to see this on a different, more buttery yeast, as the flavors here would clearly support it.
This is, however, tasty and utmostly drinkable.
Nothing tangible, complaint-wise, here. Everything is solid. Get it.
But, I must say, Ridgeway could tweak this into a first-rate classic.

 1,096 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap a couple of nights ago. Poured to a deep dark black color, with no head what so ever. Must say from the way it looked I was questioning what I had gotten! The aroma’s where quite nice with a rich chocolate flavor with a fruit like tinge to it along a burnt/toasted smell. The taste was dominated by a burn malt flavor with some sweetness that seems to go well together. Over all this brew was not bad, not a favorite by any stretch but one I would try again.

 479 characters

Photo of Brent
3.31/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very interesting label design, but the blurb on the side about having this to make family gatherings bearable was a bit of a downer. Poured an appropriate coal black, with almost no head and little visible carbonation. Overall, carbonation was low, but adequate. Hint of chocolate malt in the aroma. Malt flavor contained a pronounced but pleasant hardwood smoke note. Finish was sweet, with lingering lactose sugar flavor, the beer is certainly weighted toward the sweet stout end of the English spectrum. Not impressive, but enjoyable.

 537 characters

Photo of shippos
4.14/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

courtesy of clvand0 via bifxmas.

poured with small tan head that faded into a skim and a black as night color. roasted barley mainly dominating the aroma with some soft syrupy molasses, treacle and burnt sugar also. sweet taste upfront followed a burnt toast, maybe burnt malt or burnt sugar. very very balanced beer and very drinkable. body does get a little on the thin side as it warms up and then you get some alcohol, but still very nice. big thanks, clvand0.

 467 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark color with a small head that dies off and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet and has lots of chocolate and a little coffee. Very pleasant. The flavor is mostly chocolate with a tiny bit of coffee and a hint of raisin. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Quite enjoyable.

 318 characters

Photo of Guinness4me
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've been a very, very bad girl. I deserve a Lump of Coal for xmas. In fact, I think I deserve a 12-pack. This was my third Ridgeway Brewing brew and I'm enjoying every single one of them.

It poured an impressive dark onyx with a tan foam head. At first swirl, it almost to have "legs" like wine!

Burnt coffee and chocolate wafted from my glass and to my nose, tempered with hops and alcohol. It was a hint of things to come.

The flavor is a complex combo of black licorice and coffee, sweetened with molasses and finished with dark chocolate. It left that almost cold aftertaste of black jellybeans and coffee-flavored hard candy.

It's mouthfeel is chewy and robust, should I describe it as lumpy? I don't know of another beer who could be called that and consider it a compliment.

It's a bit rich to drink a lot of, but I'll happily try.

 856 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle states that it's a "Dark Holiday Stout". As opposed to all the light holiday stouts out there? Maybe I'm a bit too cynical.

Appearance: pours black as a lump of coal (hmmm) and a 1/2" tan head that quickly dissapates. Leaves wispy lacings on top of the beer and around the glass.

Smell: Faint tea-like hops, some malty sweetness, and alcohol notes.

Taste: Rum smoked raisins floating in iced coffee with cream. A slightly smoky presence with hints of dry cocoa. Some mild grape-like astringency and hints of chocolate pudding finish out the sip. This is definitely on the sweeter side of things for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium and creamy. Coats the mouth well.

Drinkability: A nice Christmas beer but nothing out of the ordinary. I'm glad I tried it but I won't be back. Too much other fun stuff out there for me...

 831 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a black color with a nice finger tall dark tan head. Looks nice. The nose is a hint of coffee, and a ton of chocolate in there. Its very sweet. The flavor is nice. Tons of chocolate in there, but it takes a second for your tongue to recognize it. The aftertaste is very mellow, with just a slight hint of hop dancing on my tongue. The feel on this beer is moerate to thick, a bit creamy as well. Velvety smooth and easy drinking. I think this is a nice beer overall. As it warms, it becomes even more drinkable.

 526 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours deppe maroon and black with a dark tan head that leaves lots of lace on the glass.
Aroma of rich chocolate, roasted coffee and a hint of alcohol.
Flavors of chocolate and midly roasted coffee and barley. Fairly subdued flavors and minimal resiny bitterness.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and sweet malt, almost bull with just a hint of roasted notes and bittering. Not very lively on the palate.
Drinkability is average. Some decent flavors but kind of one-dimensional and somehat "flat," not bad just not memorable.

 521 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black as a "Lump of Coal". No light passes through. Has a mocha brown head. There is a good chocolaty aroma with just a hint of coffee in the background. The taste seems more sweetly vanilla than chocolate. Only in the finish is there a nice coffee bitterness.

 260 characters

firstprev| 551-575 | 576-600 | 601-625  | next → last
Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 619 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.