Lump of Coal Stout ("Dark Holiday Stout") is from Ridgeway Brewing in England and imported by Shelton Brothers. (Those of the "Bad Elf" and "Santa’s Butt" fame.) It’s a hefty brew at 8% alcohol by volume, but it’s very drinkable and you wouldn’t know it’s that high.
Appearance: A bit translucent, deep red highlights through an inky cola-black. Very little head.
Smell: Dark slightly astringent malt, some black coffee. Some sweet, dark syrupy notes… mild.
Taste: Nice nutty dark flavors, roasted grains and bitter coffee. A spicy character that reminds me of barrel aging; a "from the wood" spiciness. A bit of peppery alcohol heat.
Mouthfeel: Smooth. A bit thin, not really medium-bodied—reminds me of Guinness, vis-à-vis stout; it’s there, but lighter than you expect.
Overall: Not a bad beer by any stretch, but I was hoping for a thicker, chewier stout. More body, in other words. It’s kind of a cross of a stout and a Winter Warmer…