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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

504 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 504
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 52
Gots: 49 | FT: 4
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.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 504 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soju6
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: 500 ml bottle. Pours an almost black color with a small tan head and bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate, some coffee and just a bit of smoke.

T: Taste of roasted malt, almost burnt, dark chocolate some coffee, bit of caramel sweetness and a trace of smoke. Has a distinct bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Fully body, smooth with a rich texture. A well crafted beer, with the 9.4% ABV very well hidden.

Excellent beer. I did not associate world class beer with Iceland until now.

Photo of kaufmaal
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black color once poured with a dark tan, 1/2 inch head that went to a thin one as drinking continued. Smells of anise, bitter chocolate, coffee, dark cherries, some smoke, toasted marshmallows. The sweet taste is up-front and a bit too pronounced. That said, there's a nice wood-grilled taste, malt, more of a milk chocolate taste. The alcohol is there, and flavors of Kahlua come through, coffee, too. The carbonation is minimal, and it is not overly syrupy in consistency. Not too shabby.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of brewskifan55
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Blackish brown with a tan half-finger head that whittled down to big bubbles. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Chocolate and malts pour down the mountainside in a torrent of toffee and caramel. Mmmm.

T: Follows nose with a smooth, sweet and smokey essence. A definate sipper. Warming. Smoke is not overwhelming. Alchohol seeps in for a pleasant mellowness.

M: Medium to heavy with a frothy carbonation. Let this one play on your tongue a while.

O: A bit pricy, but I was using a gift certificate, so well worth the indulgence. Great with a chocolate chip cookie. And being a stout, it only gets better as it warms. Recommended.

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Bubbles
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a mini snifter.

Appearance - Pours without a head. Black with slight transparency at the edges.

Smell - Quite smokey. Chocolate. Caramel.

Taste - Markedly less smoke. More dark chocolate and a rich caramel base. Some smoke definitely present, but nothing like the nose.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe pushing the light side. No booze. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - I like the smoke balance. A lot in the nose, but more of the base stout in the taste.

Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. A deep dark black with a slowly dissipating brown head. Aroma of dark roasted malt, caramel, some mild dark fruit with a deep smoked essence. Taste is sweet dark roasted malt, some caramel ad mild dark fruity favors with a very distinct smoked flavor and mild bitterness. Palate is medium to full body, slightly creamy and oily with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a dark roasted caramel malt, dark fruit, ending with lingering bitter sweet smoked flavor and some alcohol. Smoked flavor and aroma are stronger as it warms up. Overall a very good, flavorful brew, very nice.

Photo of Ingjald
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of hellhammermario
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JamesMN
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Super dark brown to the point of being black in color. Basically no head despite a vigorous pour but some tan residue on top.

Aroma: Dark fruit esters, alcohol, and dark malt. Mildly complex with a richness about it.

Taste: Immidiately hit with a bit of dark smoked malt but not nearly as intense as what follows. In fact, the flavor doesn't truly develop entirely until the finish and aftertaste. Finish is smooth and almost sweet with dark malt flavor. Aftertaste lends a huge smokey kick that slowly fades away. Very light bitterness throughout and the smoke flavor does the job of balancing out the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body than its 9.4% ABV would suggest. Average carbonation and good drinkability for a beer with such strong smoked flavor.

Final Thoughts: If you like Imperial Stouts and smoked malt then Lava is the beer for you. Would I drink it again? Sure.

Photo of BlackBeerDown
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mpyle
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big dark tan head, creamy and with retention. Beer is opaque.

Sweet, roasty and smokey aroma. Smells of smoked meat.

Big smokey malt flavor initially. Any sweetness is well countered by the smoke and roast. Complex malty/smokey flavor though midmouth. A more assertive bitterness hits late, along with some alcohol flavors. Finishes slightly alcoholic but with a lot of smoke and roast carrying as well.

Fairly big body, low-moderate carbonation. Actually has a gentle creaminess on the tongue, and the alcohol warming in the finish is fairly subdued for the strength.

Smoke beers aren't my thing, but this beer is well made. Nice complexity of flavors, and well-controlled alcohol characteristics. And honestly the smoke is complimentary rather than overpowering. Best Icelandic beer I've ever had!

Photo of FrostyWPG
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of ccozzi
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jondeelee
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Lava opens to a thick, smoky stout aroma that smells heavily of campfire smoke, as well as ash, tobacco, peat, and chocolate malt. The dark, ashy notes are held lightly in check by caramels and toffees, molasses and near-burnt vanilla, as well as thick brown breads and deeply toasted wholegrain bread crust. There are also some lovely fruit esters, including fig, plum, raisin, berry, and prune, lending the beer a sugary underbelly that resembles a cross between a port and a thickly-syruped fruit cocktail. There’s also an alcoholic overtone that resembles a syrupy, sugary ice wine, though with more notes of maple syrup than grape. The aromas increase greatly in this syrupy sweetness as the bottle remains open, until after a few minutes the early campfire smoke and peat notes are almost gone. Overall, the beer smells wonderful, being a battle between heavy maple syrup, concentrated dark fruit extracts, and smoke, and while the sugars are perhaps a bit too strong, they’re still very alluring.

On the tongue, the beer opens with the same heavy campfire smoke, ash, tobacco, and peat note detected on the tongue. These dark, ashy notes are joined almost immediately by vanilla, caramel, toffee, and molasses, as well as the dark fruit esters (fig, raisin, prune, plum, and berry) noted in the nose. Here, however, the ashy, smoky notes don’t fade over time, but keep pace with the sugars for the duration of the mouthful, joined by thick brown breads, rising whole wheat dough, biscuit, and toast crust. In subsequent mouthfuls the sugars to tend to increase in volume, the tawny port and sweet, maple syrup-laden ice wine notes becoming stronger early in the mouthful, but the ashy notes still catch back up as the beer is held on the tongue and the sugars die off. The aftertaste is a continuation of the heavily sweet, campfire notes of the main mouthful, but here the campfire smoke and ash notes grow and grow, until the mouth seems full of blackness, with only a few bits of syrup left for balance. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, the smoky notes blending well with what is obviously a very nice Imperial Stout in the first place. Fans of the style should definitely make this a must-try.

Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Maillard
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Phillyz
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Kevincredible
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Axnjxn
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a tulip. no bottling date apparent.

Pours a pitch black color with an inch thick beige head. Pretty attractive pour. Smell is smokey chocolate malts. Taste is an intense smokey taste. A bit too smokey in my opinion. The chocolate malts are still there but are overshadowed by the smoke. Not so easy to drink. Heavier side of medium bodied with medium carbonation. An almost creamy texture. Definitely not syrupy like other imp stouts.

Overall it's different, but not my favorite. I wouldn't have another but i'm glad to have tried it.

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.