Born from the death of England's Brakspear Brewery, Ridgeway Brewery was only known to me as the brewers of a series of Elf related beers: Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf, Insanely Bad Elf, etc. The evil elf union has yet to sue them for defamation, so they apparently know a little something about elves.
Ridgeway describes Lump of Coal as a holiday stout, but I recommend this beer to people who like stouts with a big chocolate flavor, smooth drinkability, and did I say chocolate? Lump of Coal has a nice brown head with a dark body that glows red when held up to a light. Insert your very own red burning coal joke here. There's a hint of coffee in the aroma and the flavor, but this surprisingly lighter stout is almost all bittersweet chocolate and malt balls. The finish is a little sweet for me. Chocolate flavors are certainly holiday flavors, but I expected a little bit more holiday-ness in a beer labeled as a Holiday Stout.