Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

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LavaLava

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

180 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 180
Hads: 521
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 55
Gots: 55 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús visit their website
Iceland

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stulowitz on 12-01-2008

The active volcano Hekla is visible from the brewhouse door and occasionally, eruptions are visible from the Ölvisholt farm. The illustration resembles the view from the brewhouse door when an eruption occurs. Full-bodied, pitch black beer with a dense brown head. Richly flavored with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and smoke.
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Reviews: 180 | Hads: 521
Photo of beeryes
4.84/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of the greatest beers I've had in 30+ years of beer drinking. The smoke flavor magically drifts in and out of the utterly beguiling overall flavor profile. The mouthfeel is superb; so is the finish. What's not to like? Sets the standard for a dark smoked beer. (276 characters)

Photo of Tblecptn
4.84/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark smokey beer and 9.4%. Smokiest beer I have ever had, so much so that its like drinking a campfire. That's the best comparison I can make. The taste of the beer goes through so many many flavors ending on a smokey flavor. Don't try drinking a different beer after having the lava. It won't compare and you be left wanting another. (334 characters)

Photo of sveinnbirkir
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Stout done right - or at least to my liking.

Black as sin, thick and slightly caramelly. Smells of licorice, chocolate and sin. Feels a bit syrupy on the tongue. A very healthy 9.2% alc. level. The head dissipates a little too quick, but otherwise as close to a dream stout as anything I've tried. I am slightly hesitant to put down a perfect score, in case there is something better out there that I haven't tasted. This is excellent, however. (446 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fabulous beer! Poured at a good temperature with massive light brown head that settled after a bit and some lace. Color is (apparently) a clear, dark, almost, black ruby red. Aroma is malt, roast, smoke, vanilla. Flavor's like nose, with a subdued but very good balance between sweet, bitter, and carbonic tang. Also cocoa; smoke is there but very complimentary. Body is soft, full, lush, round with carbonation just right. Finish is surprisingly of average length despite the bold style of beer, making this exceedingly drinkable; slight booziness. (549 characters)

Photo of devlishdamsel
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. This was amazing. Let me begin by saying that I absolutely have hated every smoked beer I have ever had prior to this one. Perhaps something regarding the lava and natural way this one was created made a huge impact? This is one of the best stouts I have ever imbibed. So very textural and viscous. It was the satin of beer; the texture was perfect. The taste was almost as good. I got some slight smokey notes but unlike the abrasive smoky beers i had prior, these were subtle hints. There was a huge malty, chocolate presence with a hint of salt( in the best way possible) as well. As far as a stout goes, does it really get better than this? I understand this was a rare beer, but id be in heaven if it was a regular occurrence! (736 characters)

Photo of kjyost
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle numbered 240912. Poured into a large snifter / tulip - like glass.

Pours a thick oily black stout with a reddish-mocha head that recedes too quickly and only laces lightly. Aromas of molasses, licorice and a bit of smoke are prevalent, with a distinct chocolatey sweetness above it all. The first thing that hits you is the smoke, but it is nowhere near overpowering the other flavors that you would expect from an RIS. The licorice and molasses couple beautifully with the smokiness that almost disappears over time. The carbonation is too strong IMO for the style, but it is a fantastically drinkable RIS to sip on, especially because you can't notice the almost 10% ABV. (681 characters)

Photo of jmgidicsin
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Asphalt black with thick, bubbly head of dark brown. My only gripe was that the head didn't last long and didn't lace as I expected it to.

Smell - Dark chocolate, espresso and licorice with some warm malt in the background

Taste - Sweet, dark chocolate -- but not cloyingly so -- on the entry, rounding out to warmer flavors of smoky coffee in the middle with a malty finish

Mouthfeel - Thick, full-bodied and syrupy, almost like what I would expect Texas crude to feel like. A beautifully lush and rich feel.

Overall -- An exceptional beer. I enjoyed it on my birthday and hope to enjoy it again on less-than-special occasions! (645 characters)

Photo of Alex-Alkis
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A huge aroma, with lots of smoke and ash. Smells like a real volcano, but with dark chocolate and black malt. The flavor is very strong. Lots of dark chocolate, smoke and licorice. Finally, a hearty, yet not intrusive alcohol warmth. I am very impressed by this beer. (267 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a small tulip, on-tap at Papago.

A - Pours an oil black with a short, tan colored head.

S - Roasted malts with chocolate, very inviting.

T - Picking up more of the chocolate with some hints of coffee and smoke.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation.

A really good beer. The flavors are complex and I kept picking up different nuances along the way. (366 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright, deep ebony to black under a 2” dense foam collar with a very fine bead.
S: Light smoke, phenols, fruit, toast, traces of coffee
T: Light malt sweetness, caramel, smokey coffee, roast, with a drying, mildly astringent finish.
F: Creamy, full bodied, very fine soft carbonation.
O: A big, bold Russian Imperial Stout with a burnt grain smokiness rather than a peated of smoked malt smoke. Well done and deliscious. (430 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Monk, in Buffalo, NY.

Pours black. Not the darkest beer I've ever had, some light might penetrate the liquid, but not much. 3 inch head, mocha-colored, forms on top of the beer.

Smells like roasted malt and chocolate- not much smoke in the aroma.

Much more smoke in the tastes. Sort of a campfire marshmallow taste, with some ash, chocolate. The smoke is restrained, and doesn't take over from the other flavors of chocolate, oak, and a bit of coffee.

Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation as well.

A great find, this wasn't on my radar at all, and I quite enjoyed it. Not the hugest fan of smoked beers usually- this struck a really nice balance for me. The bottle I bought later on was definitely smokier than the on-tap version. (759 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely my first beer from Iceland, although I had to go to Ohio to find it. Smoked Icelandic RIS named after the nearby mountain and it's molten flame, game on. Looks the part with a thin creamy head atop an obsidian chunk. The nose is smoky, starting with porkfat and ending in a familiar peat bog.

The taste is a pleasant melange. The smoke hits first, along with a dark rich malt flavor, colored with baker's chocolate and dark fruit notes. There is steady hop presence down to the aftertaste, along with a moderate dose of booze. The texture is thick and luxuriant, and very smooth throughout, despite the abv. This is an awesome stout with plenty of character, and real aggressive smoke flavor. Not cheap but highly recommended. (739 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In a Delirium glass. Pitch black color with almost a finger of tan head. Looks great.
Strong chocolate smell with roasted malt in the background. Hint of burnt wood.
Silky/creamy texture. Burnt taste, roasted malt, chocolate and burnt again. Tasty.
Low carbonation and a heavier body.
Outstanding, a pleasure to have. (317 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 16.9 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black with nice 1 inch creamy, foamy head, and plenty of lacing.

Smell - Smoke, dark roasted malts, cocoa, chocolate, molassess, honey, brown sugars. Plum, rasin, some cherry. Smells really nice.

Taste - Starts off very smokey, with a nice sweet, fruit and sugar sweetness. Lots of roasted malts, cherry, honey, brown sugar and molassess. Very smooth, balanced and almost no alcohol present. Roasted malts add a nutty taste to the smoke. Finish has a little alcohol and a chocolate note.

Mouthfeel - Malts, sugars and smoke coat tounge with mild, yet bold flavors. Palate gets more of the same, along with some chocolate and a little alcohol. Aftertaste is smokey, malty and chocolate.

Overall - Excellent, balanced, flavorful, and really smooth and easy to drink for being 9.4%. Its sweet yet not over the top, malty and smokey, yet not overboard. Second only to alaskan smoked porter as my favorite smoked style beer. World class, try this one. (1,000 characters)

Photo of sfprint
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

exp 010614

A: Impenetrible darkness, with a short creamy red head. MKicro rising carbonation barely visible on the edges.
S: Incredibly thick and heavy roasted malt, heavy coffee and smoke.
T: Very smokey, had an interesting almost spicyness which isn't too chemically and masks the alcohol well. An interesting smokey not so hot pepper. Very unique flavor and very nice. Not my favorite style but this one is great.
M: The carbonation is so perfectly tied to the spicyness making the mouthfeel very special. But simultaneously very creamy. Amazing mouthfeel.
O: Perhaps the best and most interesting imperial stout I've had. (626 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Thick tan head. Black and opaque like an Impy Stout should be.

S - Boozy but not over the top. Lot's of coffee and roasty aromas. Sort of like a BBQ in a way, a little smokiness too.

T - Alcohol is there but just enough to let you know what you're in for. Rich flavours, sweet. Finishes really smooth and pleasant.

M - Medium bodied. Velvetty and smooth.

D - Excellent. Alcohol is well masked but not non-existant. I could have a few easily. Easily the most drinkable Imp Stout I've had. (495 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

First of all, thanks to Pall for bringing me this "precious" from Iceland.

A: Nice art, first of all. Pours a very oily black color with a reasonable beige to brown head which is creamy and dissipates leaving not much lacings

S: Very nice smell of roasted malts. Coffee. Sweet and light smoky in the nose. Also reminds a brown bread with some alcohol in the end. Yeasts

T: Tastes follows the nose. Sweet upfront. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and some hints of coffee. Yeasts. Great bitterness, delicious taste

M: Creamy molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Excellent roasted bitter aftertaste

O: Very drinkable despite the high ABV, an authentic and well done, european Russian Imperial Stout (739 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of these guys or this beer. No matter. On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is impresive and unusual. I get considerable smoked meat, along with light coffee, vanilla and tobacco. I'm a sucker for smoked beer, so this is making me very happy. The flavor profile is every bit as good, and I'm amazed by how well the brewer has managed to interweave the smoked meat flavor into the dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. There's even something of a light blueberry flavor in this beer that is intriguing, as well as a hint of licorice on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and this beer is very soft, long and smooth (it has almost a silk, satin-like mouthfeel that is unusual and impressive). Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though certainly you can tell it's up there a bit.

An unusual, very impressive beer. (935 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, very thin ring of retention, leaves a bit of lace.

S: Light smoke (in a smoked ham sort of way), coffee and roasted nut, hints of demerara and licorice.

T: Very nice smokiness, not overdone, really compliments the roast. Roasted nut, coffee, molasses, licorice, generous use of fuggle hops, with a light peppery spicing as well. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden. A brew this big, with this much flavour and balance truly is exceptional!

M: Well-attenuated, full body has only a hints of acidity and alcohol warmth in the finish. Extremely well-crafted.

D: Incredibly well balanced and flavourful, though the strength and smoke may limit the drinkability a bit. I love it. (702 characters)

Photo of Kremlock
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a DARK coloured beer. Held to the lamp I could not see any hues or light coming threw. Head was a espresso brown. Head stability is low with low to none lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, roasting coffee beans, burnt wood.

T: WOW, flavours are great here. Same as smell but there is a hint of cooking caramel. Like making candy toffee at home. There are hints of plum and raisins but they are on the dry then sweet side. Bitterness is high and well balanced with the malt complexity of this beer. The smoke flavour is so complementing and I can totaly have a second one after this.

M: Medium-High carbonation, full body, snapy on the tongue, bitter finish with a hint of sweetness that tries to sneak by. Smokiness is totally complementing and does not get in the way.

O: I am so going to go get an other bottle. This is such a great well rounded, full flavoured beer. (873 characters)

Photo of Nostrajonus
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black pour with a thin brown head that vanishes rapidly leaving moderate lacing.

S- I can smell the smoke right off the bat, Its quite overwhelming but expected. There is some background sweetness with hints of chocolatey roasted malts.

T- Excellent. The smoke really comes through up front, but it doesn't overpower the other flavors. Rich roasted malts follow the smokeyness, and the finish leaves a bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.

M- If I thought perfection was attainable...I would have given this a perfect score for mouthfeel. It is smooth and silky; this drinks wonderfully.

O- I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. They didn't over-do the smoke. I have tried other smoked beers that tasted, well...meaty for lack of a better word. The smoke came through heavily on the nose, but it was much more gentle on the palate. If I see this on-tap I will surley give it another go. (889 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. One finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma a pleasant roasted malt, chocolate, wood smoke and mild dark fruit. Taste follows with roasted malt, smoke, chocolate, dark dried fruit; finishes with light hop bitterness, smoke, malt and a hint of chocolate, nice. Well integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An excellent smoked imperial Russian stout. The high ABV is well hidden. Well done. (526 characters)

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- from the notes and a small bottle
A - straight up coal black and opaque with a short head.
S - roasted malts and a distinctive smokiness that many smoked beers just don;t manage to obtain.
T - dark roasted malts/coffee flavors with an undeniable smoke flavor.
M - fairly thick and low carbonation.
D - excellent as the alcohol is near undetectable....until later. (365 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a viscous opaque black with a frothy light tan head. decent retention. leaves spotty lacing.

S - It's like putting your nose in a volcano, or a bbq pit. notes of Bacon, campfire, and dry rub spices dominate the aroma. there is touch of roast and chocolate underneath the raging smoke notes.

T - essentially a more nuanced version of the nose. Roasty coffee notes up front, followed by hints of bakers chocolate. smoke and spice notes enter mid palate. smooth dry finish.

M - creamy texture. medium bodied verging on full with medium carbonation.

O - Excellent. a fantastic blend of roast and smoke. (614 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque ebony body with a rich, sticky tan head. Excellent lacing and rings down the glass.

Robust, rich grains bringing to mind black coffee and bitter chocolate with a touch of smokiness that tries to hide the alcohol (but not quite succeeding!).

Wow! The smoked malt hits you right off the bat, quickly bringing dark chocolate, mocha, and dark roast coffee. Alcohol warmth becomes noticeable but is quickly tamed with an excellent combination of smooth malt sweetness and touch of mild bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth and silky at first, giving way to a soft carbonation on the tongue.

A very fine imperial stout. The upfront smokiness really sets this one apart. Although intense, at first, the smoke blends in well with the rest of the malt character. Rich and complex, high ABV, intense from all angles, this beer is well-suited for lovers of smoked beers and/or imperial stouts. (890 characters)

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Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
91 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.