Ridgeway Lump Of Coal Dark Holiday Stout

I was driving through Ohio the other day, and I met up with one of my beloved brothers. He steered me to place just outside of Cincinnati in Kentucky (The Party Source) where he had been impressed with the beer selection, and he thought I would be impressed too. Turns out, he wasn't wrong. Although I love the rotating selection I get in City Sliquors, this store's beer selection was larger than the entire store in LaVerne, Tennessee. So, from there came this lump of coal.

The lump of coal is not nearly as black as some of the other beers I've been able to discern the color of. This one is a deep ruby brown with a head that absolutely did not want to come out to play. If I hadn't pulled some out with a sloppy pour, I wouldn't have any for this picture; what I get are big, lazy bubbles that don't hang around for long, but they leave a dusty remnant at best. The aroma is sweet, roasted almonds and spices.

First sip is nuts, sweet malt, creaminess, roasted malt, and light spices. It's nowhere near a lump of coal, but I guess Pothole Filler wasn't really used for potholes, was it? This is sweet and goes down very smooth. I'm going to have more.

Tip-in is syrup smooth with a definite tartness in the front of the mouth, as carbonation does very little, but it's there. The middle slides in with the toasted malt, hints of chocolate and coffee, and light spices; it doesn't seem like there is enough flavor in the description to justify not saying that it is watery, but it's thick and smooth instead. The finish is a bit bitter with the toasted malt and coffee holding on strong for a smoky trail-off.

Bottom Line: The label is right - this IS better than I deserve for Xmas.

3.5/5

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