Brewed at Hepworth

Style: Foreign Stout
Reading, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 633   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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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 youíve 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.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - DEC 11, 2005
Pours a very dark red with a thin tan head. Meaty aroma with some burnt smells. Thin in body, sour in flavor. Has acrid, charred barley flavor but is overwhelmed by sourness. I think this bottle is off.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 7, 2005
12.07.05 500ml bottle. Mostly black pour below a moderately lasting dark tan head. Aroma is roasty chocolate, somewhat burnt pumpernickle toast, burnt marshmallow, and anise/fennel/floral. Palate is not as thick and demanding as I anticipated based on the label and dark color (I know, I know). And, although the mouthfeel is velvety smooth, itís not very rich, nor is it too bitter. In fact, Iím quite in love with the mouthfeel of this stuff--maybe the best part of the brew. Flavor is an uncomfortable combination of vegetal (asparagus, canned green beans), bubblegum, sage, mint, and anise, all thrown about on a coolly roasted, somewhat mineral, definitely sweet main component. Itís able to completely hide the 8% behind some heavy-handed sweetness.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 7, 2005
Sampled from bottle. Pours opaque, dark brown with a scattered tan head. Not real attractive save the color/clarity. Aroma is so subtle it hardly merits comment. Flavor is slightly bitter and a bit astringent. Tastes liek the brewer used a blend of roasted barley and black patent for color & flavor because the body is a bit thin (but still not watery). Dry with a lingering bitterness. A lackluster offering.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Oh, My! A Ridgeway seasonal that is palatable. Well, barely. A recent beer tasting presented the complete line of Ridgeway seasonals and I was compelled to go down the line and try them all. What an ordeal. Of the lot, this was closest to anything decent. The black body and foamy tan head held promise. Thatís how I like my beer to look. The aroma wasnít bad. Notes of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar molasses, and a wisp of smoke. Fairly robust body and a nice velvety texture. The flavor was sweet and milk chocolaty coffee but not exciting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Indra (2676) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - DEC 5, 2005
500ml bottle. Mildly roasty, semi-sweet chocolate aroma, some dark, grainy maltiness along with very subtle hints of smoke, raisin and prune. Hazy ebony color with dark brown highlights and a slight, fine head. Lightly bitter malt note up front followed by a light amount of spicy, fruity hop flavor, thereafter superceded by a wash of semi-dry, dark, roasty chocolate with molasses and other dark sugars, and with a light veneer of alcohol at the close. Seems a bit unrefined in the order and magnitude of flavors. Smooth and nearly flat on the palate with a medium-full body. Some astringency and cola flavor noted late. Somewhat likeable, though I definitely thought this could have benefited from a somewhat heftier consistency and better integration.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Dorwart (2409) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Had to fight like hell to get any kind of a head on this beer. Thin and foamy and recedes quickly. No noticable carbonation. Black cherry, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Color is a dark brown/black. Medium bodied, roasty and slightly bitter. More chocolate, coffee and roasted grains. Typical. Pretty smooth and pretty thin. Finish is empty with a little alcohol warmth. Nothing special.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2580) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2005
Meh. It looked and smelled better than it turned out to be. Pours a very dark reddish brown, but dark enough to be black in the glass. Minimal head and lacing. Aroma is rich with roast, burnt chocolate, caramel and grassy citric hops. Flavor fairly light and sweetish, with an astringent finish. Not terribly enjoyable, and I used the rest of the bottle in a big pot of chili, in which it worked pretty well.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
KimmoS (51) - FINLAND - DEC 3, 2005
Color is black with a tint of red. Soft (not bitter) and round with something a bit burned there. The aftertaste has some hops and saltliquorice toffee. Smells fresh and "stouty" and feels velvety. I will buy more of this if availeble.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 3, 2005
500 ml bottle, from BevMo. Pours ebony color with slight brick highlights at the rim and base of the glass when held to light, along with a small tannish head that diminishes to a ring of bubbles with no discernable lacing. Aroma is stout, roasty, hints of chocolate, burnt molasses and a milky herbiness. Flavor is nice, mostly sweet, prune juice with bitter notes, coffee, bakers chocolate, a bit of alcohol evident and an astringent roasty chocolate finish. Full body with the lightest possible carbonation. Pretty good, in fact Iíd declare it better than expected.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 3/20
Kevin (2118) - New Mexico, USA - NOV 29, 2005
almost pitch black pour with a grey tan head. the nose is wine like. a lot of sweet grape booze. yogurt flavor, and the mouthfeel is gooey too. a strawberry, cherry, banana cream milkshake here. vanilla blueberry finish. i did not expect something this fruity. too much strawberry, hell, the flavor is strawberry, the finish is strawberry, and as it warms the strawberry reaches out and starts to strangle. this is seriously trying to kill me.

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