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Skjálfti - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
SkjálftiSkjálfti

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

60 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús visit their website
Iceland

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jdhilt on 07-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow body with initially a foamy head. Wafts initially a cheesy aroma, then reverts to a neutral one. A little lagerish taste, a tad beow average mouthfeel. Drinkable, but not too drinkable, and 500 ml. is too much for me. Rather uninteresting overall.

Sammy, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a bright golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of clean cereal with light residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by floral cereal with a clean dry finish with some subtle residual sugar notes. There is also some light cooked vegetables which I could have done without. Body is quite full with slight oily texture with good carbonation. Not bad thought it doesn't really stand out and the light DMS touch is not that pleasant.

Phyl21ca, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Birthday gift from cousin Dan. Best before January 20th, 2001. Served in a mug.

A - Pours with a half-finger of eggshell foam that sizzles to a partial cap. Body is a hazy peach color with tons of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Smell has some nice citrus hop character - ripe oranges mingle with a nice clean sugary malt character. There's a bit of lemon sourness and earthy spice too but they are in the periphery.

T - Taste is a little less interesting, with more spice and pepper flavors instead of the sweet juicy citrus of the nose. The malt character is also more bready. Not bad, but a bit of a letdown.

M - Carbonation is a little high, and the body is a touch grittier than I prefer. Body is medium and of sufficiently heft, and the finish is slightly dry.

D - Nice solid, session brew. I dig the idea of a hopped-up steam beer, and the nose on this one is quite enjoyable. If it tasted a bit more like it smelled I'd actually get this semi-regularly.

MasterSki, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a one finger white head that lasts leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty/hoppy nose. Flavor is almost balanced leaning to hoppy, slight bitter finish. 330ml bottle 249 ISK ~ $2.99 Vínbúõin Hvolsvelli, Iceland. The name means earthquake - very appropriate for the country. From my notes - 7/22/2008.

jdhilt, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iceland may be known for its snow and eruptive volcanoes but this beer has little of the white stuff and a carbonation that could hardly be described as explosive. Its burnished golden colour, oddly enough, approximates a tropic sunset; it's somewhat unrepresentative of a country that sees only a few hours of daylight for half the year!

But hey, it looks good and, besides, the aroma is even more atypical. It has a significant sulfur-y component and an impressively confident bouquet that is ripe with hoppiness. Flower petals, earthy herbs and dried citrus shavings make for a lager as appetizing as it is unique while biscuity malts and heavy doses of lemon and grass add the finishing touch.

Such substantial hopping in lagers is still fairly rare - surprising considering just how delicious and distinctive the result is. I'm not saying I prefer the taste of hops to malts - both are flavourful in their own rights - but I do find the hop flavours can, in many ways, be better appreciated when showcased in lagers which can provide such a clean, neutral backdrop.

To be more specific, those hoppy flavours include foremost a dry and earthy grassiness as well as a bright, citric lemony attribute (both of which could not possibly be any tastier). Lesser, and more abstract, notes of pine and flower petals are also noted although they rank about on par with the tastes of toffee biscuits and honey smeared on toast.

It's befitting that the beer was brewed right over top of where the American and European continents come together - it has the refinement and quaffability of a traditional European lager but also the brawny bitterness and in-your-face hopping done the American style.

While I may not be able to pronounce its name, I can say for certain that Skjálfti is good beer and Ölvisholt Brugghús, seemingly, is a gem of a little brewery. The name of the beer translates to 'earthquake', ironic considering it brings the two continents' styles together rather than dichotomize them. I understand that Icelanders have a reputation for drinking a lot - but with offerings like this who can blame them?

biegaman, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, best before April 1, 2012. Into a tulip.

Pours a golden orange, with a creamy offwhite head. Good retention and some lace. Nose has some distinct grassiness, fairly leafy. Taste has more of the grassiness in it, bitterness is evident but not overpowering. Again, leafy with some pine notes as well. Moderate malt base, some breadiness but subdued. A bit of butter. Finish lingers a bit, but overall a decent beer.

liamt07, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden-yellow with a fluffy white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Floral with hints of grass & marmalade, fresh baked bread, pleasant subtle hints of yeasty sulfurs.

T: Floral, citrus rind, grass, bready, slight sulfury character from the yeast, hinting at diacetyl close the the flavour threshold (in a good way). Moderate bitterness. Nice.

M: Smooth, moderate body with an off-dry finish.

D: A great drinker.

Reminds me of Brooklyn lager, though I think I like this one better!

Derek, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy amber/orange colour with an average size fizzy and frothy off white colour head. I can't see much carbonation due to the haziness of the beer.. The head last for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - hops, honey, malts, a grassiness

Taste & Mouth - a very nice mouth feel; perfect combination of carbonation and smoothness. The beer has a very nice mild hop flavour, similar to that found in say a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but much more toned down. There is also a honey sweetness and notes of toffee and lemon juice. The beer finishes with a malty slightly bitter hop aftertaste.

Drink - A pretty decent brew that is definitely worth a try if you happen to see it on the shelves. Sure hit the spot while watching nfl football today.

spinrsx, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fizzy white head seems to be going fast but the middle is nice and pillowy so I'm hoping for some good lacing. Tons of carbonation on a hazy orange body. Head has calmed down now and is champing through midway with a nice one finger cap of thick, rocky, gorgeousness.

S - Could smell tons of fresh hops when I poured this. Grapefruit, orange. Nice citrus all over, a nice change for a lager. Slight grain.

T - Nice mild citrus hops. Really minute bitter finish appropriate for what this is. Crisp and refreshing at the same time.

M - Carbonation is less fierce than it looks. Keeps it dancing on the tongue with it's light-medium body.

D - High. A good refreshing lager with a nice hop kick.

Another well crafted beer from these guys.

tbeckett, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of drpimento
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this in Stockholm last weekend. Poured with a white light head and lace. Color was slightly hazy medium amber. Aroma was nice with a slightly smokey & very slight citrus and apricot characteristics. Flavor's the same. Nice body. Excellent finish. A session beer.

drpimento, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of andrenaline
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes... Another random I picked up at my local LCBO. I quite enjoyed their last offering, so curious to see what this one brings to the table.

A - Pours a light golden colour, finger of head with some retention, and no real lacing.

S - Light on the nose, biscuit and grainy malt, touch of sweet corn and metallic notes.

T - Toasted bread, butter notes, grainy and leafy hops, hints of honey and wheat.

M - Medium, though a tad prickly, and finishes wet.

O - Given the style, the flavour profile was quite loaded. Worth a try, but nothing mind blowing.

andrenaline, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of bobsy
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its easy to try a beer from a different country, but its often hard to chalk up the ones that are any good. I've never been much of a ticker, so I usually pass by all the crappy lagers from exotic places, but I was excited to see the local government monopoly add this Icelandic effort to its latest release.

Skjálfti pours a radiant gold with an off-white head that laces like a dream and shows great retention. As a beer its off to a flyer, and the nose hints at the promise that this could be a fantastic lager. Its full of lemon, and crisp malty goodness, along with hints of grass and herbs.

The flavour is great, with a nice herbal lemon hop profile and a soft malty body.A light bitterness provides a crisp finsh to a mildly sweet sip. Nice and refreshing in the summer heat. Not overly-complex, but certainly an easy-drinking lager. The medium-light body and pillowy carbonation add to this impression.

A decent lager, and one that I could happily drink on the patio. Perhaps not enough complexity for many repeat visits, buta good 'lawnmower' beer.

bobsy, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper colour with a nice white head. Smells sweet like fruit candy almost. Taste has some hops with a strong malt backbone. Very bready type taste that has some type of fruit in there. Very smooth and a great drinker. Probably not going to buy a lot at the price in Ontario, but a very nice beer.

kwjd, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Molson2000, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -19.4%

cfalovo97, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of peensteen
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper/amber colour, decent white head, light traces of lacing on the glass. Smell is not overly aromatic but nice smooth malt, light citrus, mildly hoppy. Taste is crisp, a nice hop presence is there, nice malt, a really flavorful lager. Good creamy mouthfeel, quite refreshing very smooth, perfect carbonation. Really solid beer, nice flavourful lager, I could drink this all day.

peensteen, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of MDDMD
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-medium amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-malt, citrus, some grassy notes

T-malt, light citrus, mild bitter grassy hop flavor and slight sweetness

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, slight crispness

O-a decent beer in this style, reasonable session beer

MDDMD, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of crossovert
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

It pours a deep gold with a fizzy white head.

The smell is malty. There is a hint of citrus and pine.

The flavor is nice and malty, a tiny bit of hops on the back end. It really reminds me of a good helles lager mixed with a steam beer and an icelandic touch.

Pretty decent stuff.

crossovert, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of pootz
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle:

pours a deep gold-amber lager in the flute, copious 3 finger frothy off white cap lasts and laces up the glass. Wonderfully unique aroma...great clean lager malts;bready, biscuity a touch of caraMunich over essentially Ale hopping: Cascade citrus, pine and grass.

Nice round mouth feel...Big malts in the front balanced well with citrus and pine resinous hopping...stays balanced into the finish which is clean, lightly bitter and lightly dry.

A very satisfying but quenching lager with the unique character of ale hopped balance. Great innovation, I want more of this.

pootz, May 23, 2010
Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light gold and decent head. Nose has an odd fruitiness to it, lychees and tropical fruit. Fairly bitter and sharply carbonated, again with a lychee flavour. Quite dry and a bit astringent with a herbal hop. Light toasted grain and caramel round out the flavours. A little bit on the acidic side as well. This one could use a bit more sweetness to balance the hops, but overall drinkability isn't bad.

allergictomacros, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of hopsolutely
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful clear amber with little effervescence, but still offers a delightful mouthfeel. Much more aroma and flavour than I expected from anything European, and truly pleasant to drink.

Hoppy aroma and well balanced taste, with a nicely bitter finish. A very nice surprise!

hopsolutely, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of TerryW
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice solid effort out of Iceland. Pours a short head that settles to a creamy looking heavy film. Surrenders some very nice curtainy lace all the way down the glass. Clear medium amber in colour, very active in the glass with lots of small bubbles rising to the top.

Fresh fruity hop aroma with a hint of grass and pine. Very appetizing nose. Nice gentle hop bitterness up front, with a sweet malt backbone that comes around to a lingering bitter finish. Very tasty, very nicely balanced, nothing to overwhelm.

A nice drinking beer worth trying.

TerryW, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Icelanders have only been allowed to brew beer for 20 years (Mar. 1, 1989), but apparently they've picked up a few things along the way. This beer completely allayed my fears about an Icelandic import brew, and I'll definitely be back for more.

Poured into a nonic. A copper-golden hue, about a 1/2 inch of head. Decent retention: a substantial ring survives, as does some patches of lacing.

Nose is terrific. Apple, hops, resin, lemon, caramel.

Taste isn't far off. A bready, malty character pairs well with juicy, herbal hops. Citrus, caramel and a good piney, earthy character make for a highly drinkable brew.

Slightly watery, but with a decent level of pucker from the juicy hops, it's really hitting the spot on a warm evening such as this. Medium, biting carbonation.

Well done Iceland! A great example of the style, very drinkable and refreshing. Sleeper hit for the summer.

JohnnyBarman, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of thehyperduck
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; no date given. This is the first time I've ever had a steam beer - and while I'm glad to tick off another style, it also means that anyone who bothers to read this review should probably take it with a larger grain of salt than usual.

Pours a lovely golden-amber colour, completely translucent and highly effervescent. Topped with slightly more than one finger of puffy, white head that lasts a few minutes before dissipating into a thin, creamy cap. Enjoyable aroma of biscuity malts, caramel and some floral citrus notes - good, but kind of weak in intensity.

The flavour is pleasant, and well-balanced. The bready, biscuity malt and slight honey sweetness work well together with the floral, vaguely herbal elements of the hops. There are also hints of orangepeel and appleskin, so the overall profile has a nice fruity character to it. Dry, citrusy finish with lingering bitterness. Light-bodied, with good, crisp carbonation that is neither too powerful nor too weak. Easy to drink like your typical lager/pale ale, and the balanced flavours would make this a pretty good session option.

Final Grade: 4.03, an A-. This is the second Icelandic beer I've had - both from this brewery - and I've been quite impressed with each of them. I've been meaning to try a steam beer for a while now, and although Skjalfti doesn't exactly have the brand recognition of Anchor Steam, I still think this made an excellent introduction to the style. It's a little pricy to be a realistic session option in these parts, but easily worth a try, and I will probably pick it up again some time.

thehyperduck, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, an unheralded addition to the LCBO's summer release.

Pours a crystal clear golden hue, a few shades darker than your average pale lager that glints a coppery almost pink. Two to three fingers of pillowy head build and then slowly recede to leave a nice covering and spots of lace.

Nose is all lemon and grass, a hint of other citrus fruits and a floral touch as well. Light biscuity malt backing. Smells fresh.

Floral arrangements, fresh cut grass, lemon zest, a slight hint of minerals, biscuity malt, honeysuckle sweetness, dry finish - all marks of a pretty darn good lager. Slightly heavy on the carb (only slightly) but it aids the quick disappearance from my glass.

An excellent summer quaff, it's only too bad that the price doesn't correspond. Still, a quality offering and I would gladly try whatever else makes its way here from the far-off land of ice.

ritzkiss, Jun 25, 2010
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Skjálfti from Ölvisholt Brugghús
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.