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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

436 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 436
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.47%
Wants: 36
Gots: 34 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús visit their website
Iceland

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: stulowitz on 12-01-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 436 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with reddish brown 1.5 inches of soapy head that sticks to the side of the glass. Big roasty aroma with some smoke. Middling mouthfeel. The taste is definite smoked malt,with chocolate, the carbonation is right there. Alcohol somewhat hidden, it does feel a little boozy in aftertaste.

Sammy, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -9%

t0rin0, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt, campfire, and smoked meats and cheeses. Taste is much the same with a medium roasty bitterness after each sip. This is a very good smoked beer with some awesome aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.9%

djrn2, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Thorpe429, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9%

acurtis, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass. It poured with a thin light tan head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with notes of smoke.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is lighter in body compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts and resembles that which you would expect from a porter. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown capped by a tan head that delivers some decent lacing

Smell: Smells like a campfire with dark bread and roasty malt elements

Taste: Opens with the black bread and caramel flavors that are buttressed, in the middle, by the campfire smoke flavors; big malt and smoked elements in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: I wouldn't have pegged this as a RIS but really enjoyed the beer and its smoke elements

brentk56, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of rich black chocolate with notes of smoke and light bitter roasted malt. Taste is also a very good mix between some roasted malt with notes of rich black chocolate and some smoke though not as much as I was expecting. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed overall and quite enjoyable though more smoke would have improve the flavour profile IMHO.

Phyl21ca, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hello Iceland! Welcome to the craft beer scene. And you do so with aggression, boldness, and masculine qualities. ...I like it!

Their Lava Imperial Stout pours with a rich and lumbering patience. Dark (lack of) color is the deepest of brown that black hues pronounce. Largely oqaque, the dark beer impedes any light. Its patient and light carbonaiton slowly releases a skirt of foam that looks like coffee creme after the beer settles. Light lacing leaves random pockets of foam on the glass in its wake.

Strong smoke rises to the nose and strikes the olfactory senses with as much of a sense of barbecue as it does stout. But at its core, the scent of strong roast coffee, bitter chocolate, and walnut woodiness provide the supporting aromas that prop up the smoky cloud.

But flavors take a different turn- the taste of French-pressed coffee, chocolate and walnut command the taste, while reigning in the smoke flavors to the point where only moderate nuances reside. Sure the smoke makes its mark with an overall meaty taste, but its succulence brings rise to the choco-coffee blend that so irresistible. Bittered with as much roasted grain as hops, the finish culminates with a toasty-dry taste and semi-ashy dryness.

Full bodied early, the beer quickly digresses to moderately weighted texture that resembles apprehensive lightness in middle palate nearly causes the beer to seem light or thin. But just enough soft malt structure carries the beer to its powdery finish of pleasant warmth, semi-dryness, and smooth bite.

Lava is an exceptional beer, but you have got to like those campfire flavors and aromas from start to finish. Its level of smoke rivals traditional German rauchbiers, but fold in the complexities of imperial stout at every turn. It's not fore everyone. But for those savory freaks like me, this beer is built for me!

BEERchitect, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Texasfan549, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

kjkinsey, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black in color with a tall tan head. It’s certainly smokey. There is quite a bit of roasted malt and a touch of salted nuts. Pretty simple and straightforward aroma. A light sweetness on the palate; some toffee and a bit of chocolate to go with lots of roasted malt and smoke. There is a slight alcohol flavor in the background.

womencantsail, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2.9%

ygtbsm94, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -9%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -9%

jaydoc, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I had been looking to get my hands on for a while. Managed to get a bottle at Capone's bottle shop yesterday. Gave this one a pour and it came out as a very nice looking rich black color with a light brown colored head on top. The retention is really good and the lacing is minimal. The smell of the beer is smokey, roasted and slightly sweet also. The taste of the beer lightly smokey with a nice roast roasted malt flavor, some subtle sweetness and bitterness working well together. The mouthfeel of the beer is nice and thick, it's very smooth and creamy. Overall I'm enjoying this beer a lot. I think it was worth the wait, I would drink it again if the price was right.

Knapp85, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

My first Icelandic find is a smoked stout? Sometimes fortune does indeed smile upon us tickers... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a strong finger of light sienna foam. The nose comprises dark smoke, roasted malts, and what may or may not be some dark coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the darkness beneath the smoke is more varied: roasted malts, molasses, coffee, and dark chocolate. Combined with the dark, almost peat-y smoke, this is one of the blackest, most metal beers that's ever graced my tongue. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a nice, deep, dark smoked stout, one certainly worthy to bear the name of such a powerful manifestation of our planet's inner mechanisms.

TMoney2591, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -2.9%

emerge077, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.9%

largadeer, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

zeff80, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, courtesy of tbeckett - Skál! Nice label imagery of what I imagine most people think of when pressed to describe Icelandic topography (but perhaps not iconography).

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight mahogany edges when offered to the light, and two swathed fingers of thin foamy mocha head, which displays fairly stolid retention, eventually leaving a low ebbing glacier profile of lace around the glass. It smells of roasted malt, with a subtle smokiness, that seems innocuous when mixed with some tart fruitiness, milk chocolate, and earthy dark, sugary molasses. The taste is big bittersweet chocolate, some sharp toasty graininess, more sour dark fruit, this time ankle-deep in a kiddie pool of warming alcohol, and dry black licorice adding further to the mire. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body an agreeable medium weight, and smooth, and bordering on creamy. It finishes sweet, the graininess and chocolate interwoven, with a bit of understated, latent smoke to bring us full circle from the Arctic Circle...

After having viewed a few documentaries about the pungency of smoked fish/alcohol/atmosphere from Iceland, I was a wee bit trepidatious about this brew. Turns out, I had nothing to fear - just a lovely multi-layered, heavy without the weight (?), big-ass RIS. From a place that should know about this kind of elixir, I'm so glad they get it right.

biboergosum, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

JAHMUR, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, smokiness, some dark fruit, chocolate and coffee along with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild smokiness followed by flavors of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 14, 2012
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Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.