Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ridgeway Lump of Coal

Lump Of Coal

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
United Kingdom (England)

Foreign / Export Stout

8.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Looking forward to a depressing holiday? Here is liquid consolation. This 8% bittersweet chocolate stout is the best you could hope for in these dark times. Come to think of it, considering how bad you’ve been this year, this little coal-black gem is more than you deserve for Christmas. Concocted by the vastly talented -- though, frankly, a little too cheery -- Peter Scholey, Lump of Coal will be hitting shelves and better pubs in November 2004.

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: 8.00 6 pack, ~$15 12 pack
24oz bottle ~$3.30

I thought I had this last year but I do not have any notes about it. This year I bought a few bottles to have as tasting beers for parties over the holidays. I ended up with one left over so I figured I would give it a full review.

The beer pours a clear dark brown almost completely opaque with just a hint of dark ruby hues showing through the narrowest parts of this glass and a fairly rich but modest tan head.

The nose is nice with rich dark roasted malt aromas with notes of chocolate and sweet dark fruit.

Not bad, this is a fairly light stout but it still has rich flavor.
The tasting experience starts out with sweet dark roasted malts up front then a fairly smooth middle of the sip. The back end is surprisingly easy drinking for a stout. It is very smooth and easy going down. The finish is okay but pretty uneventful. There are some nice dark malt flavors along with an alcohol sweetness and an interesting underlining hop bitterness. This does not have the bitterness of a dry stout but there is a definite hop presence on the finish of this beer. There is a lingering dark roasted malt aftertaste but it is light and lacking that creamy mouthfeel and stout coating that is typical of most stouts.

This beer has a very light mouthfeel and body for a stout. It is an English Foreign Export or Extra Stout and at 8 percent it may be considered an imperial by some. I’m just not sure if this style usually has a lighter body like this one does. I don’t know, I’m expecting a heavier body for a stout and this is leaving me short or light as it were.

OK, back to the review.
This beer really does have some nice dark roasted malt flavor and there is a unique bitterness to it. I’m still not sure if its hops or malts but there is a nice bitter sweetness to the finish that I really like.

The beer has warmed a little; we are now at 57 degrees. It’s not getting smoother as it warms. It’s still not bad but there is a slight harshness on the end of the swallow into the finish now that was not there earlier.

We are now at 67 degrees and the off taste is really unpleasant. It’s a good thing that I’ve finished this beer, it may be hard to take if it got any warmer. 

I really started out liking this beer but it develops some very harsh flavors after it warms a little.

I’m going for a C on this one. It started out as a nice dark roasted malt stout that was a little light in the body. It however develops some really off flavors as it warmed. It’s a nice drinkable stout cold but don’t let it warm up on you.

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